The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO H. T. WAKE ; 28 October 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531028-TC-HTW-01; CL 28: 298-299


Chelsea, 28 octr, 1853—

Dear Sir,

Your monogram is very pretty, and your intention towards me is very kind: accept many thanks from me for your goodness.

I have long been in want of some small Bookplate, and am always occasionally thinking of getting one engraved. But the kind suitable to me would be very different from this tasteful and somewhat abstruse one of yours: I should require the most evident utility and clearness (i.e. legibility) as ground work of the whole;—plain name and surname, therefore, with a “No” (to be filled up with the pen) in some convenient corner,—perhaps one's poor crest superadded:—this is what I vaguely image to myself: but in fact I am totally ignorant in such matters; and know only, in this as in other things, that the honestly useful is never ugly, and that the “beautiful” which cannot be used is very apt to be so in my eyes.— Perhaps as you grow older, you will yourself more and more come into this now almost forgotten “doctrine of the beautiful,”—at least if you persist in your love of Oliver Cromwell, whose whole existence is a most memorable, grand and heroic preaching forth of the same.

I will ask you to retain your kind feelings to me, in spite of contradictions; and with many thanks and regards, will remain

Yours sincerely /

T. Carlyle