The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOSEPH NEUBERG ; 31 May 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530531-TC-JN-01; CL 28: 157-158


Chelsea, May 31st, 1853.

I am strongly inclined to be of opinion that you should not quite neglect to look about you over those estates offered for sale, and see whether you could not tolerably fit yourself with a pleasant rural habitation, where you might learn to farm a little, and trim up once more a house for yourself on the face of this ‘all-nourishing earth.’ Depend upon it, as matters go, that is a considerable point for a man; to be anchored even by the possession of a house, a library, a dairy, garden, and good conveniences for living whatever life one may have—this is greatly preferable to no anchorage at all. As to England, you could still visit England ad libitum after a little while, and if you have quite done with trade (as I suppose to be certain), there really is very little in England that cannot be overtaken by visits. I have serious thoughts myself, many a time, of fairly lifting anchor out of this empty noise, and steering towards some discoverable habitation that were at least silent, and furnished with not dirty air to breathe. Age is, and should be, earnest, sad even, though not ignobly but nobly sad; and the empty, grinning apery of commonplace creatures and their loud inanities ought to be more and more shut out from us as the Eternities draw nigh. You, in your own thoughts, may find occupation for yourself wherever you are; and whether the world takes any notice of it or takes no notice, is really not the question with a man. … I hear in some vague way—————is gaining large vogue for some Swedish ‘muscular’ or other half-distracted form of ‘medicine’ he has taken in hand.1 Nature has an immense pantry, and is very bountiful to human beings?