January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JOHN RUSKIN ; 18 January 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560118-TC-JRU-01; CL 31: 6-7


Chelsea, 18 jany, 1856—

Dear Ruskin.

Last night your beautiful Book1 was handed in to me; a very handsome welcome indeed on one's return home.2 I have already galloped extensively up and down over it; find that it will be excellent reading for me in the coming nights. That is the real Sermon of the season and Epoch; Sermon “concerning many things,”3 by the most eloquent Preacher I have heard these 20 years, and who does mean wholly what he says.4 A beautiful enthusiasm is in him, a sharp flashing insight and very potent melody of utterance, a noble audacity, and confidence in Truth's gaining the victory,—much sooner than it will do! For the odds are terrible against it, in these utterly decadent and indeed quite rotten times. I wish you long life; and more and more power and opportunity of uttering forth, in tones of sphere-harmony mixed with thunder, these salutary messages to your poor fellow creatures,—whom (including us) may God pity. I also am, for my own particular share of the booty, grateful, as I may well be,—beyond what shall be written at present.

You will do us a real kindness any night you turn your steps hither; the earlier the better, for all manner of reasons. Also, if you see the good Mr Furnival, say I had his letter, but cannot possibly undertake to “talk,” on any terms, to any class of creatures,5 my usual lodging being about the Centre of Chaos (not far from that, just now), which is a very taciturn inarticulate locality.

We wish you heartily “many good New Years”: there are few whom they will suit better. I am always, Yours with many thanks

T. Carlyle