The Collected Letters, Volume 1


TC TO MATTHEW ALLEN; 23 September 1820; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18200923-TC-MAL-01; CL 1:277-278.


Mainhill, 23d September, 1820—

Many thanks, my dear Sir, for the punctual attention you have paid to my request. I have considered the matter over again, in the new light which your information has cast on it; I find your statements inviting on the whole; and tho' I have not yet had opportunity to take the requisite advice concerning this affair, I seem to feel my own mind rather inclining towards visiting your county. I shall be able finally to decide next week: and in the mean time, I think it would be advisable to apprise the Gentleman of this result; to say that I am willing to treat with him about the proposal, and hence that I desire to have an explanation of the duties and emolument, from his own hand, with the expected time of entry, and other customary points;—that so the thing may be put in a proper train for receiving its final adjustment. I shall of course learn whether any farther recommendations or testimonials are needed—besides the apparently unmerited one's, which you have given me. Most probably it will be best to engage but for a year at first: and with regard to salary, I still incline to suppose that £150 is not an excessive sum; the duties will involve a considerable sacrifice of time, and, at first any way, of inclination; the distance from York, besides its other disadvantages, will occassion an additional expense in the article of materials for study; besides a hundred and a half has something complete in the sound of it; and for all these reasons, tho' I do not as yet insist on it as an indispensable preliminary, I wish to have this sum specified as the reward which is likely to content me.

So soon as ever the Gentleman can find it convenient to explain all this to me—the letter cannot arrive here before Friday or so—I shall be in a condition to reply by return of post, and to conclude this business, I hope, to the entire satisfaction of all parties.

The present letter, you see, is one of mere detail, and dull as such letters usually are. I shall talk of your book1—which I expect shortly to see—and of all the works you have wrought at another time. Meanwhile, believe me to be (with many unexpressed apologies for all this trouble),

My dear sir, / Your's most truly, /

Thomas Carlyle.

It has somewhat of a silly air, but I could like to know what quantity of Newspapers and periodical literature circulates on the banks of the Swale.2 Perhaps you cannot tell me, and after all it is no great matter. Do you ever visit that picturesque region?