candlestick

1854-June 1855


The Collected Letters, Volume 29


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TC TO CHARLES BUTLER; 3 March 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540303-TC-CBU-01; CL 29: 36-38


TC TO CHARLES BUTLER

CHELSEA, LONDON, 3rd March, 1854

MY DEAR SIR:

A week ago I received your kind and pleasant letter, intimating to me, among other welcome things, that you had received the Illinois Bond safe, and would, as your beneficent purpose had been, take charge of it in due business form, which is all right and a real favor done me; which in fact, as it were, absolves my lazy mind from any farther thought or trouble about that matter; there being evidently nothing half so good I could have done with it, and therefore in the meanwhile, nothing further whatever that I have to do with it. With many sincere thanks, let it so stand therefore! I have only to add that the 3 coupons you inquire about are quite gone beyond my reach or inquiry. I suppose them to have been given off for 3 installments of interest, which were, (as I can remember) paid to me in regular succession, long years ago, when a worthy friend, a merchant in the city, now deceased, had charge of the Bond for me;1 if that was not their fate, I cannot form a guess about it; but in any case, they are to be held, these 3 coupons, as extinct for us, and finally gone. And this is now all I have to say upon the Illinois Bond. Requesting you only not to bother yourself with it, beyond what comes quite in your way in the current of far wider operations, I will leave that rather memorable Document now at length well lodged in your repositories, and dismiss it again quite into the background of my own remembrances.

We are struck with a glad surprise to hear you have been so supremely hospitable to our voyaging painter.2 To snatch him, the thin-skinned, sea-worn man, from the horrors of a stranger hotel or boarding-house, and bid him come and rest in safety, under soft covers and protection, in the house of a human friend; this is indeed a high and fine procedure; but it is far beyond what is demanded or expected in these later unheroic ages! I can only say we find a beautiful “politeness of the old school” in all this, and in the way all this is spoken of and done; and do very much thank Miss Lynch and yourself for all your kindnesses; and shall (if we be wise) silently regard the existence of such a temper of mind, thousands of miles away from us, as a real possession in this world.

Miss B.3 sends no sign whatever from St. Albans; we suppose her to be, day and night, strenuously wrestling down in her own peculiar way, that monstrous problem she has got; poor lady, I really wish I heard of her safe home again, and well out of it, on any terms. Your Minister here has done a notable thing the other day: entertained, or rather been partner while the Consul entertained,4 the 6 or 5 select pearls of European Revolutionism, Kossuth, Ledru-Rollin, Mazzini, Garibaldi, etc.,5 I do believe the most condensed Elixir of modern Anarchy that could have well been got together round any earthly dinner table, which has caused a perceptible degree of laughter, commentary and censure in certain circles; now pretty much fallen silent again. Undoubtedly a diplomatic mistake (in a small way) on the part of Mr. B.; which, however, it is expected he will amply redeem by and by.

Adieu my dear sir; with many kind regards, from both of us, to both of you, I remain,

Yours always truly, /

T. CARLYLE