The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO ARTHUR HELPS ; 18 June 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530618-TC-AH-01; CL 28: 175-176


Chelsea, 18 june, 1853—

Dear Helps,—I am a victim; don't subscribe! The man Wood,1 I find, is an old dotard who amuses himself, and plagues mankind, with writing twaddle in rhyme: certain Irish ladies,—he lives in Derry, and does not want for wit, nor suffer exceedingly from bashfulness,—amuse themselves in hunting (thro' the penny-post) for the said Wood, and hearing the struggles of their victims when caught and speared. A most questionable employment for Christian Females!— My bargain was, to pay my 5/, since it couldn't be helped; but to have the Wood volume thoroughly given away, or failing that, burnt; and never to be troubled with it at least. O Heaven!—

I think daily, with longings and sorrowful regrets, of the country breezes, solitudes, silences, and some such place as Vernon Hill,2 in these bright months: but what then? On the whole, it can't be had. On the whole, we must just sit still, and not make matters worse by trying to get it! This is one of the most hearty-stricken worlds, in spite of all the guineas that are now in it. A little work; Oh ye Gods, if one could do a little work;—and one can't; and there is no other salve to our many sores, and no other thing worth regretting or longing about. Silence, however; at least, silence!

I return your Subscription Paper,3 with Protest as above; ejaculate a brief malison against all idle people in the Sister Ireland or in this; and wishing benefit and furtherance to you and others of the opposite genus, a poor “Suffering Remnant” at present,—am and remain

Yours always /

T. Carlyle