January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO CHARLES BUTLER ; 24 February 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590224-TC-CBU-01; CL 35: 40-41


Chelsea, London, 24 feby 1859

My dear Sir,

You are Punctuality itself, and always reappear when the Almanack demands you! I received your Note of the 8th last, with the inclosed Cash,1 which the Banker has now got hold of: that is all right; and I have only to return you many thanks as usual,—the poor but sole return in my power as matters stand.

On the other hand I perceive you have never got my last Letter,2 written 5 or 6 months ago (end of Septr, I should guess)? I posted it myself; and long ago, as no answer came to the inquiries there made, I began to fancy something had misgone; which, by your silence on the matter this time too, I perceive is the case. Two Books also you should have had a while ago, the end of my Collected Works3 (I know not whether 1 vol or how many still wanting to you); and the Book on Friedrich (two big red volumes)4 whh I had just been publishing. I wrote instantly to my Bookseller here,5 and have waited two days for the fruit of his investigation: No blame of his, it appears; only some loitering on the part of his agent;6—for the rest he confidently computes the Books are now safe in yr hands. If so, we will forgive him. But please examine whether it is so;—and if in any respect it is not, let me know immediately.

The lost Letter treated of some money I meant for the American Funds under your guidance,—of whh there was long ago talk between us. £1,000 I had, and then another £1,000:—not hearing from you, I fancied you really might be at a loss to point out any absolutely good investment, or to risk an advice; I therefore proceeded to invest those two sums in English stock: “Brighton-Railway Debentures”7 they call one of them; some other similar thing the other: and there my peculiar [savings] lie, absolutely safe I am told, but yielding only 4 per cent, tho’ perhaps I expected about 5.—— Well, if I missed any better American chance by that Post-Office accident, there still remains another £1,000, whh you may yet advise about if you like! Speak if there is anything deliberately eligible in your judgement; I will take yr Judgt as conclusive, if you be good to speak. Exorbitant interest is not at all what I seek or wish; but the absence of risk,—or necessity to think farther of the matter,— is very desirable.8 Perhaps you cd put it and the already existing thing together in some way,—so that a London Banker9 (or even a Scotch one in correspondence with Ln, whom I shd prefer) cd take possessn of the Papers, and manage the whole matter, witht ever speaking to me again abt it, except by the sending of his Half-Yearly receipts so long as they endured? That wd be the pleasant method. Do whatever your clear insight and friendly mind shall prompt on the matter.— I am still crushed down with the ugliest endless labour, in fact quite “killed” and broken hearted;—and so it must continue for many long months, if I can survive it all! No moment is my own. I, in great haste, say Farewell. Yours ever Truly,

T. Carlyle