January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO FORD MADOX BROWN ; 5 May 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590505-TC-FMB-01; CL 35: 88-89


Chelsea, 5 May, 1859—

Dear Sir,

I think it pity you had not put (or should not still put) some other man than me into your Great Picture:1 it is certain you could hardly have found among the Sons of Adam, at present, any individual who is less in a condition to help you forward with it, or take interest in it active or passive. I was never in my days so overwhelmed, and l[ost]2 miles deep in the belly of an ugly Enterprise, too heavy in sad truth for the strength I have left, as even now:—Jonah in the Whale's Belly3 but a type of me, in those sad months and years!—

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Ford Madox Brown, Work

Courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery


I very well remember your amiable request; and the promise I made you, to “sit for some photograph.” That promise I will keep;—and to that we must restrict ourselves, law of Necessity compelling.

Any afternoon I will attend, here, at your studio,4 or where you appoint me; and give yr man5 one hour, to get what photograph he will or can of me.6 If here, the hour must be 3½ p.m. (my usual hour of quitting work, or to speak justly the attempt at work); if at any other place, attainable on horseback, it will be altogether equally convenient to me; and the hour may be such as enables me to arrive (at a rate of 5 miles per hour, we will say!)—

Yours in great haste /

T. Carlyle