October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO FREDERICK MARTIN ; 15 October 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18561015-TC-FEMA-01; CL 32: 12-13


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea

15 Octr, 1856—

Dear Sir,

Your situation in Wolverhampton1 has evidently reached the insupportable pitch; you cannot stay longer there.

About ten years ago, when busied upon Cromwell, I had a young man,—a scholar like yourself, a graduate in Medicine, who had been cheated out of his money in this big City, and reduced to great indigence,—who, till I ended that enterprise, was of eminent use to me.2 He copied Mss.; went to the Museum, and made investigations; did Indexing (the Index to Cromwell is his, one of the best I know of);—in short, by loyalty, intelligence, fidelity, and readiness to do whatever was helpful to me, he proved well worth his pittance of wages for two years. One sovereign per week was all I could afford him. On this, with a wife and one child, he contrived (being thrifty and wise) to live comfortably, and had even furnished, in some sort, a small house for himself; and was gradually looking towards better prospects, had longer life been granted him. But he died, to my sorrow in more ways than one: and no man of equal honesty, worth and likelihood, when I have since wanted such, has ever turned up.

If you now like to try a similar function with me on the same terms,—as I take it for granted you will,—there is work enough for you in the way of helping me, with Frederick and many months to come; and the experiment can begin as soon as you please. We will try it for a couple of months; if you suit (as I have ground to hope), well; if not, there will be at least no harm to you, and London with its intricate capabilities lies round you as before.3

Judging that you will certainly accept, and probably wish to leave Wolverhn at once, I inclose you a Post-Office Order for £1 (your name is “Frederick Martin,” not Friedrich);—if you wish to stay a week or two longer in Wn, you can do it: but I rather expect to see you in few days. Doubtless you will be able, Mrs M.4 & you, to get some reasonable abode in this quarter, near me; but in this first instance, your last Lodging will probably be the eligiblest for you. Quod bonum faustum felixque sit [May it turn out auspiciously and with good luck].5

Yours in great haste

T. Carlyle