The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR ; 12 November 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531112-TC-WSL-01; CL 28: 309


Chelsea, 12 Novr 1853—

Dear Landor,

Two nights ago, I received, thro' Mr Mackenzie and the Parcels Company, your beautiful new Book with the pathetic title;1 and have already read far and wide in it, with many interesting feelings and impressions to myself, many kind thoughts towards you,—thoughts of various sorts, and thanks and respects especially.2

Sure enough this is a fine straight-stemmed broad-boughed “Old Tree,” and has dropped on us noble fruit, akin to the Hesperides Apples (I imagine),3 for many a year: nor will I take this sad word “last” in any other sense than as latest;—by Heaven's blessing we shall yet have more of this Hesperides sort of apples from our good Tree; they are not plentiful elsewhere in these times! The fact is, I know simply one SCHOLAR now among us, in the old fine and beautiful sense that word once had; and him I will pray the Fates to preserve to us long!—

You look into the eyes of Death withal, as the brave all do habitually from an early period of their course; and certainly one's heart answers to you, Yea, valiant Brother, yea, even so! There is a tone as of the old Roman in these things, which does me good, and is very sad to me, and very noble.— I found my own Epigram too; doubt not that.4 I have found a great many things,—and a Piece on Petrarca, which surprises me (I beg many pardons) by its impartiality to that wearisome wretch;5 and looks in my mind like a perfect steel Engraving in the way of Portraiture. Euge [well done]; on the whole, Euge everywhere is the word.

Hume hangs over the mantel-piece, lighted from the garden, downstairs; and daily gets better acquainted with me.

I send thanks and salutations, for favours new and old; and am,

Dear Landor / Yours always sincerely

T. Carlyle.