The Collected Letters, Volume 4


TC TO JOHN BADAMS; 27 December 1826; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18261227-TC-JOBA-01; CL 4:174-176.


Edinr, 21. Comley Bank, / 27th December 1826—

My Dear Badams,

You must accept a copy of this Book, and read it in vacant hours to make you forget the “wild beasts of Ephesus,”1 over whom I am happy to understand that you have in a great measure gained the victory.

I am wedded here, and might be the happiest man in these parts, would that thrice-cursed ventriculus but let me. Frequently I swear that I shall never in the world get well, and that I do not care three farthings whether I do or not! I would give twenty pounds to see you for half a day. Why will you not write to me? I feel as if I could promulgate more of my secret mind to you than to any other living man almost: and yet of all my friends you are the one that have said fewest kind things to me. How is it? It is those clear blue friendly eyes of yours, and that ever-helpful hand; the spirit always ready with act and counsel in the hour of need! May God bless you, my dear Badams! Tho' I never see you more, I would not part with you for money or money's worth.

But will you never come to Edinr, never come and see my wife, who loves you almost as much as I do? At least you might write; tho' it were but: “Dear Sir, I am still alive, and remain &c”; even this were worth something. Good sooty Brummagem [Birmingham]! Honest old Warwickshire! I shall love them all the days of my life.

Is Taffy2 still above ground, and stationed beside the Colour-mill? I wish you could pack him up, stable and all, and send him hither by Mail or van: I would prize him next to Hyppogriff and Pegasus; higher than all earthly steeds. And Tom, the pigeon? Alas there is no continuance here for any of us, winged or wingless; and Tom is perhaps ere now gathered to his fathers!

I feel a strange pleasure in thinking of all these things, and a mad hope that even yet they are not utterly lost to me. I will write again ere long, tho' you will not. Meanwhile a truce to this babbling, for the hour is come! My kind regards to your Brother, and the good Mrs Barnet. Accept in good part this hurried delirious scrawl: I still seem to be talking with you, tho' three hundred miles apart! Believe me in all places and seasons,

My Dear Badams, / Most affectionately Your's, /

Thomas Carlyle—

P.S. I have a Brother (here beside me) who graduated in medicine last year;3 really a sound-minded, well-informed, substantial fellow, whom it is a pity to see idle, and whom you if you knew him would rejoice for his own sake if you could assist. He is earnest for medical employment of almost any sort; would like most to be engaged as Assistant to some respectable practitioner for a year or two, that he might see exemplified in deed what I have reason to know he has well and liberally studied in theory.4 The lad reads [French] also and German; understands the eleme[nts of Mathe]matics, Literature, Philosophy, &c &c [and if in the] course of your wide intercourse with the world, you should meet with anything promising for this Hyppocratic Candidate, I know you will think of me; and do as you are wont. Again Adieu!—