The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO CHARLES REDWOOD ; 15 July 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400715-TC-CR-01; CL 12: 198


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea / 15 july, 1840—

Dear Sir,

Your Paper seems to me of a genuine spirit, and to have in it a right insight into the heart of [the] matter. I agree altogether with what you say; and should with pleasure see it printed and circulated, the more widely the better. It seems to me, at bottom, a thing which must some day or other be circulated; that thing, or some other thing and innumerable other things like it!

Yet I question whether Newspaper Editors will not find it too far ahead. They are judges of that. You must try; and prosper if you can,—and change your shape, and try, and shift, till you do prosper, for the spirit of the thing is true! Perhaps the Spectator would be your best London vehicle? The Editor is understood to be a rational, candid, decisive man.1

But after all, I see it will do you no ill should all Editors once more refuse! An idea in a man, like fire in certain circumstances, is not to be trampled out by refusals. You will have observed too that the longer a bit of ore has been kept in the smelt-furnace, the better metal does it make. Do not regret if they refuse you;—perhaps rejoice rather.

As I know not whether I shall be here at the end of the week, it seems shorter and safer to return your Paper to Cowbridge straightway.

With good wishes, / Yours truly (in haste) /

T. Carlyle