The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO MARY RICH ; 21 January 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400121-TC-MRI-01; CL 12: 19-20


Chelsea, Tuesday [21 January 1840]

Dear Mrs Rich,

On looking at your Note1 a second time the other day, I found that I had committed a great mistake: leaving Madame's little Letter with Darwin in the open state! Alas, I set out with the intention of delivering it to yourself in Gower Street; but found my time run, and so struck in by Darwin's,—little thinking of the consequences. I pray you to forgive me. You will forgive me? Yes!

The inclosed is for Mr Erskine,2 whose address, unknown to me, you are to complete; once completed, will you farther be so kind as pay a penny, and forward the thing by Rowland Hill the Invaluable.3 It contains a strange epistle to me from a poor Paisley Weaver,4 whom I wish Mr Erskine to cast a glance towards.

It appears, a certain official man has discovered in the French Naval Archives the original despatch of Rénaudin the Vengeur Captain,5 entirely confirming our old Admiral's account;6 and moreover has been so honest as publish it in the Révue Brittanique some months ago;—of which publication the National Newspaper has not taken any notice! I am inquiring for the thing, but have not yet got it. Thackeray talks of making some trumpet-blast about it.7 As the Vengeur article is to go into this new Miscellanies edition, I must see it myself.

Are you much interested to discover that I have become so determined a Tory of late? A very “incoherent thinker” indeed! I wish all Tories immense joy of such an associate. We will like wise recognise the extent of human stupidity, which if it be not infinite, borders upon the infinite.

My Wife is almost always at home; I usually till about 2 o'clock. It will be a very kind act, and give us true pleasure, if you can venture so far any morning or any evening.

Best remembrances to the Scotts,8 when you write in that direction.

I am ever, / Dear Mrs Rich,

Yours most truly

T. Carlyle

I leave Mr Erskine's letter open, that you may read what you like of it.