January 1835-June 1836

The Collected Letters, Volume 8


TC TO JOHN STUART MILL; 20 April 1835; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18350420-TC-JSM-01; CL 8:94-95.


Chelsea, Monday Night [20 April 1835].

My Dear Mill,

We are to be at home tomorrow night; but with people whom, I doubt, you and Grahame1 would not make much of: Allan Cunningham and his Brother and Wife; perhaps also a Dr Willis,2 Scotch-Teutonic, philosophico-sentimental, with the beautifullest English Wife, who plays and sings like a seraph. If you think you can do anything with it, come too.

If not, we are to be alone next night: at tea about half past six.

Thanks for the Review; which I looked into not without interest; tho', as you anticipated, with but stinted edification. The Paper on Sedgwick is good and very good: distinguished by perfect precision; and set forth with a cold emphasis,—satisfactory to look upon.3 Sedgwick's title to judge of the Utilitarians must be regarded as annihilated; he can only still have his feeling about them, and condemn their creed on the old principle of “I do not like thee Dr Fell”;4—which, after all, has its weight too. If you had indicated in the background (this discussion being so handsomely disposed of) the nullity of both Theories, and of all such, past present and future, about such matters, I should have had little more to desire. But to you I fancy they are not null; tho' my prophecy occasionally is that they will become so[.]

The whole remainder of the Review seems to me Peyronet-Thomsonnish, Taitish;5 and requiring amendment. Your people seem to believe what they say (as these others do); but have otherwise small claim to be heard often. I sigh with more sadness than you can imagine to think that this is the truest Truth now going; the softest “soft green of the Soul”6 one has to repose on, this hard macadamised highway! It is better than a quagmire too. God mend it!

I have been very ill and stupid; above all, the latter: but am recovering my wits again. Eheu! Eheu!

Yours ever truly, /

T. Carlyle.