The Collected Letters, Volume 11


TC TO JOHN STUART MILL ; 22 October 1839; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18391022-TC-JSM-0; CL 11: 205-206


Chelsea, Tuesday [22 October 1839]—

My dear Mill,

On sunday I learned from you that another Number of the Review was to be published: but it strikes me that perhaps you wish to print only gratuitous Articles on that occasion; that an Article of mine will be of little or no more use to you than any other which would cover the paper reasonably.

I have, for a good many weeks at intervals, been writing down in a very loose manner, a variety of things about the Poor, about Radicalism, the Priesthood, the Aristocracy: it is an attempt to utter in suitable language, and apply to the present aspect of things, the fundamental notions which you know me to entertain; an attempt which prospers very ill with me, hating as I do to appear in the character of objurgator, to wrangle or seem to wrangle with any one,—and not, were it even by retiring into vacuum, to have it all my own way!

A great many sheets lie covered; mostly with things worthless; here and there, with a thing that might be preserved and printed. I find, in these days, that I must bring it under some rubric, and finish it; or else tie a string about it, and shove it indefinitely into the background, perhaps, without any string, into the fire. Lockhart, long ago, was desirous I should put it into some reasonable shape of a pleading and protestation to the upper clases on behalf of the under. That is not perhaps impossible, tho' surely it is not very feasible. On the other hand, Benthamee Radicalism at this time seems to me like a wind-bladder rent, lying flaccid now probably enough forever. What am I to do? One is hard bested, squeezing oneself into any of the marketable shapes!

Pray tell me what is the interest of your Review (if it have any interest), and your own wish, in regard to such a thing. Probably your answer will illuminate me more or less.1

I wish you would get stronger; tho' I know dyspepsia, sick nerves, and perpetual uneasiness or pain to be nowise dangerous to life, I do not like to see you so thin. Probably this coil of annoying labour you are now to throw off your shoulders will prove a great and wholesome alleviation. I still continue to have faith in horse-exercise, especially were summer once here.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle—