The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH ; 13 October 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531013-TC-AHC-01; CL 28: 287-288


Chelsea, 13 Octr, 1853—

Dear Clough,

The Grand Duchess of Weimar is about setting up some Grand-Ducal Institute for educating the nobility and gentry of Weimar: there is to be a Frenchman to teach French; there is to be &c &c, and of course (upon which last point alone am I concerned) an Englishman to teach English. The question is, Can you help me at all towards such a man,—on the following outline of terms.

The salary is to be 600 Prussian Thalers, which I think is about £90 Sterling, but which, according to the Weimar scale of markets, is calculated to be as good as £100 in a similar English Town. If the Institute shall perfectly succeed, the 600 may be raised, in the course of years, to 700 and even to 800 Thalers (about 3/ each);—and in any case, the Grand-Duchess's Secretary (a clever little Scotchman, or Irish-Scotchman, of the name of Marshall, who is the applicant to me in this matter) computes that, by private teaching of English in Weimar, our Englishman might earn annually 300 Thalers more. On the whole, £150 annually seems to be about the income he might reckon on, supposing all to go in a moderately prosperous manner.

They will take him, as it were, on trial for a year or a year and half; after which the engagement to be permanent. A man perfect in pronunciation is required; so that Glasgow and Edinburgh are cut out. Also a man “without encumbrances” (i.e. Wife, especially “children or the prospect of children”),— caeteris paribus [all things being equal]! The Teachers are all to be ready on this ground at Weimar, against Easter next.— Other conditions, advantages or duties, there are none mentioned.

Of course an Oxford or Cambridge graduate, if otherwise qualified, would have the best name of all. He ought, for the rest, to possess the qualities you can yourself imagine as well as I; among which a slight preliminary knowledge of German will of course be important. Weimar is a pleasant quiet little City, of 10,000, most rather idle and polite inhabitants; abounds, naturally, in Goetheana and Schilleriana and other such ware; has an extensive Ducal Library (little used, I should think), and does not want for means of real as well as superficial and imaginery culture to a studious soul.— The salary is smallish for England; but it is larger than that of many a young Curate; whom, if he had a taste for German things, it might suit very well for a few years.

I request you to keep this matter in your mind for 24 hours, diligently revolving it (as far as official duties will permit it), and then to say whether you can remember any likely person,—or if perhaps you think there can none, of the kind alluded to, be found.1

Yours always

T. Carlyle