The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO J. W. DONALDSON ; 9 July 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530709-TC-JWD-01; CL 28: 190-191


Chelsea, 9 july, 1853—

My dear Sir,

I had evidently read with shameful negligence;—indeed I did not know that the place where had much to do with the question in hand, and so took less note of that point.

But it is as clear as noonday from the very page you were examining that Pharsalia is not the scene of the Centurion's exploit: it is expressly said, Es wird mehr [There will be more]. They talked farther (going into general history and talk) of the Tenth Legion; leaving Pharsalia &c altogether behind them.

So that if you can now find anywhere a Centurion of the Tenth Legion, called either Q. Caecilius or Q. Icilius, who does a feat in defending a Post of any kind, either an outpost or his ground in a general battle,—we shall have found (in all human likelihood) the very passage in question; and the then fashionable French Translation of that will be the “Book,” which Icilius the Second produced at Landshut, and convinced the King by.1

Of course I shall be glad if you decide to catch this fox (as probably so fierce a leaper and rider will); and tho' one cannot make any broth of such a thing, it will be comfortable to see it well slain;—and you, as is your right, shall have the brush.2

Believe me, always / Yours sincerely

T. Carlyle

Do you chance to know the Address of one Davies a young Cantab Clergyman somewhere far east in the City,—who translated or helped to translate Plato's Republic lately?3 I have lost a Note of his, not answered yet

Don't mind: I have found it!