1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


JWC TO WILLIAM ALLINGHAM; 1 March 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540301-JWC-WA-01; CL 29: 35-36


5 Cheyne Row / Wednesday [1 March 1854]

Dear Mr. Allingham,—You are not taking it ill of me that I did not thank you for your poems before reading them?1 at least were I in your case and knowing what I know, it would be far from me to take it ill!

I have now read every line of these poems—a great praise in itself—considering the anti-poetic atmosphere I live in, and how impatient I am become, at second-hand, of the general run of Poems; and to speak quite sincerely I find all of them good reading, and some of them really beautiful and worth getting by heart. “The Dream” in particular pleases me, and one verse of it brought a gush of tears from my eyes,2 and if you knew what remarkably dry eyes I read with generally—nay, live with generally—you would attach some importance to this manifestation of feeling!

Even Mr. C. read “The Dream” without a word of objection and a good many of approbation. I wish you great success in your enterprise. It must be a hard fight in the beginning for anybody unless born with ‘a popular novel’ in his mouth, to live by literature in London. But I do believe always to a certain imaginable extent, that “our wishes are presentiments of our powers.”

Come and tell me all about it the first Sunday morning you have leisure.— Yours truly with many thanks / Jane Carlyle