1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO STEPHEN SPRING RICE; 16 May 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540516-TC-SSR-01; CL 29: 102-103


Chelsea, 16 May, 1854—

Dear Spring Rice,

I am greatly obliged to you for the sake of poor Allingham, to whom you have surely done the duty of a Good Samaritan.1 The foolish little Poet (who, I hope, has here got one good lesson which he will not need to repeat) ought to thank you all the days of his life,—and to stand with double energy to Her Majesty's service in the Customs henceforth, whatever other thing he may find himself capable of combining with it. There has not been in my experience a more mildly-dealt-with foolish young gentleman. But I believe he deserves it too, poor soul; for there is something really good in him, really true ingenious and kindly, and capable of growing to use in many ways, now that you have saved him from delirium and destruction, which were all he had [to]2 look for on the “literary” course. Thanks and Well-done, therefore I say again; and may your shadow never be less.

I remember Mr Prescott3 very well, and very kindly indeed out of old days; and it would surely give me pleasure to see him again in any feasible way. His kindness to me is great in this Proposal: but, alas, do you know what a “Dinner” means to the unfortunate individual now writing? It means a brief enjoyment purchased by ten days of nightmare wretchedness; a thing which Rhadamanthus4 (especially when, as now, the liver is below par) has sternly, and in a very audible manner, ordered me to avoid. Such is my sad fate; that really is the truth, and I ought to take it as such.

If you and Mr Prescott would come down hither any evening (we have tea at 7½ p.m. and later),—we are at home almost any evening,—and could make a very nice and really human thing of it. But you won't; no, I fear, no!—

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle