January 1835-June 1836

The Collected Letters, Volume 8


TC TO JOHN STUART MILL; 2 May 1836; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18360502-TC-JSM-01; CL 8:338-340.


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea / 2nd May 1836—

My Dear Mill,

About a week ago, I finished my Second Volume. It was my purpose on that occasion to surprise you with a visit at the India House: but I heard two days before that you were gone to Brighton; a thing I was glad and sad at. For almost a fortnight before that, I had been kept prisoner by a cold, and could not get to you. What your special address is, if it be not Post Office Brighton, I do not yet know: your Sisters were here one day; but I was out, and this practical inquiry was neglected. I send this to Grant, who probably has official means of communication. Pray write to me how you get on: say, if possible, that you are growing better; that you will soon be back to us.

These two sheets are the thing I promised to do about the Hist. Parlementaire: the present interregnum was the time for doing it. Is it not far too long for the Examiner? Whether it will suit that or any other Newspaper or Publication, or can be made to do so, I leave for your judgement and management. Cut and clip at discretion; I only wanted to keep my word. The Proem might be exscinded: the Extract is rather long; but is favourable and good. I once thought, this morning, a few more Extracts might be added; and it would make a kind of Review Article?1 Do as you like and can.— If I persist in this wretched scribbling craft, I purpose rather to write more things in the currente-calamo [off-hand] manner; and to gain the habit of doing it.

Leigh Hunt's Pension seems to take a fair turn. There is a great running and driving: Lady Blessington,2 Dr Bowring, Serjeant Talfourd;3—did all this originate in your message to Lytton Bulwer? It is like the stone Saussure4 saw fall on a slope of the Alps; it fell, and quietly folded itself over once or twice: but the place was a precipice of stones and shingle: so there rose a perfect avalanche of that sort of thing; spreading over acres; and whole forests were snapt away.— In plain prose, there is real hope of the business. I told Jeffrey of it, when he was here; he ran off to Spring Rice5 forthwith: I have seen Buller since, who had got a Letter from you about it. What is rather questionable, they have told Hunt himself, and his hopes are rather high: his necessities poor man were never greater.

Sterling did himself ill in the East wind; and kept close within doors again; but continues to gather strength. He is for Rome now, it seems. My Brother John is here these two weeks and more; desirous to renew acquaintance with you. He and I called one day at Kent Terrace; but the Lady was not there.6

I have seen Cavaignac and Marast7 twice. I like both the men. C. in particular strikes me as the best Frenchman by many degrees whom I have met with. A courageous energetic man, with much free Nature and bonhommie [sic] in his composition; really a Son of Nature, tho' French and in this time. We should get along beautifully together, would he speak a little plainer, or learn to speak English never so obscurely.— My Wife is complaining very much, of Colds and illness, in this wretched weather: she sends you her kind regards; regrets much that you have been invisible so long.

I had surely innumerable other things to say: but the light is failing; my memory in the hurry has got entirely confused.— I must terminate; in the hope of soon hearing from you. Then if there be anything to say, I may say it more at leisure by a new opportunity.

Take care of yourself, and recover with all despatch.

Ever faithfully yours, /

T. Carlyle.