The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR ; 15 October 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531015-TC-WSL-01; CL 28: 292


Chelsea, 15 Octr, 1853—

Dear Landor,

The Hume arrived, last night, in perfect safety: an excellent Portrait, in a fine light suitable frame; warmly recognized by all parties here as a magnanimous and altogether welcome Gift. The Female genius has already schemed out for it a place of honour among the Lares and Penates [household gods] of this house; and, in the meanwhile, it stands upon a sofa in the room where I am; pleasantly reminding me of many things old and new. Many thanks to you indeed, and may your shadow never be less!

Forster happened to be here, after long absence, when the Picture came; and we had abundant canvassing of it, and rejoicing over in our way. If not by Ramsay (tho' why should it not), it is evidently by some skilful artist; and speaks itself a good likeness. Curious to see by what slight circumstance the face is relieved from being that of a common fat Scotch Laird, one of the thousand “Humes of Ninewells”;1 and yet relieved it is, and stands there as the evident face of a fat Stoic and Sceptic, with great stores of bottled-up reflexion, and emotion which it was better not to produce in the bad weather then prevalent.2 I own to a very considerable respect for the solid cheery slow-going man: Jeffrey used to tell me, there were still old Ladies extant in Edinburgh, in his time, who could become enthusiastic in their praises of the excellent “Dawvid,” in spite of his formidable heterodoxies. God is great!—

I know not where, or whether ever again, I am to be in the Bath region: but I straitly charge you not to miss us when you are next in London. My Wife adds many regards; joins her thanks with mine. You will find me, if alive at all, very nearly choked under the terriblest mounds of German Historical shop-sweepings, and quite past speech!

I remain / Yours with many regards / T. Carlyle3