The Collected Letters, Volume 11


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 27 May 1839; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18390527-TC-AC-01; CL 11: 117-118


Chelsea, Monday, 27th May, 1839—

My dear Alick,

I do not find that I have a single word to say to you today: but the frank will carry another bit of paper, and that may as well go with a salutation to you as not.

The Letter I wrote the other day was, I daresay, one of the most confused; but it was only the better emblem of my own state on that account: you would be able to spell out of it some reasonable scheme for your own procedure if you went to Carlisle on saturday. I have written a Letter to Jack, which is still lying here; unfolding the condition of the matter. If you actually get a Gig, it will be interesting news to me; especially I want to know if the new Horse be a smart trotter? Nothing in all the Physician's pharmacopeia is worth naming beside that for me.

You will find by Jean's Letter that I have in view to write an Article on the Poor People. I have long felt a kind of obligation to do it. I offered last year to Mill, but he refused unless I would come to the conclusion that their situation was gradually improving!1 I did not think him wise in that refusal, but I said nothing. This present Article I partly intend for Lockhart and the Quarterly Review, the organ of the Tories. Lockhart I have seen and talked with about it; he is a man of sense and breeding, very anxious to have me write the thing if it can at all be made to suit; which I think it may really be; for it is a plain truth to me that I have found among the Tories, the best kind of Tories, far more fellow-feeling [for the] Poor, than among that rubbish of Radicalism, which in general has sympathy with nothing but its own self-conceit.— The Article will cost me a good deal of reading and trouble; but I can take plenty of time for it; there will be no printing till some time in Autumn. It will be a matter well off my hand at any rate; for I have really had a kind of conscience about it for a good while, and felt as if I ought to write it.

My Mother has got little from me but Newspapers of late; I hope to write to her again before very long.— We rejoice much in the account you give of your business, of your prospering in it. That is a very tolerable income, it seems to me; far beyond what one could have expected; and a kind of life, not indeed without its vexations, but perhaps freer from them than most.— Good be with you my dear Brother. Our kind affection to one and all,—beginning with Tom and Jane.2— Ever Your faithful

T. Carlyle