1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO GERALD MASSEY; 23 March 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550323-TC-GM-01; CL 29: 275-276


Chelsea, 23 March, 1855

Dear Sir,

Thanks for your little volume of Poems; of which, for your sake, I had already read such portions as turned up for me in the Newspapers, tho' otherwise rather shy of that kind of matter.1 I wish I could do anything to help towards maturity and real usefulness such a talent as yours. But [words missing] nothing that I, or that any one, can do in that [words missing] matters are: it is to your own truthfulness, [words missing] piety and loyalty of mind, that we must look [for a solution of] that problem; help is not elsewhere,—else [words missing] rious forms, is hindrance mainly!—

[Words missing] anything to say on these sorrow- [words missing] are now passing. To my mind [words missing] fountain of them all is (little as we yet suspect it) precisely excess of “saying” and talking and palavering,—which the English Nation, for a great while past, has grown to consider as the chief function of man, and the substitute for silent hard work in all kinds. I believe the cure of Balaklava,—and of the Universal “Balaklava,” which that small Crimean one is but a symbol of,—lies far beyond the dominion of Speech: at any rate my sad ominous thoughts upon it are better to be kept silent than spoken, if they were even speakable.

With many kind regards, thanks and good wishes, I remain

Yours sincerely /

T. Carlyle

Gerald Massey Esq