The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO REV. JAMES DODDS ; 31 August 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400831-TC-JADO-01; CL 12: 234-235


Chelsea, 31 Augt, 1840

My dear Sir,

Here is your Cousin's fragment again; with thanks for the trouble you have taken in shewing it me. I approve much of the course he is adopting; it is probably far the fittest for him:1 at all events, it is like to be the safest;—on beaten roads, not thro' pathless wilderness full of monsters! When a man has once made up his own mind, the half of the battle is gained for him. He has thenceforth to be silent, and fight right onwards.— It will give me real pleasure to learn that your Cousin prospers according to his purpose. According to what real stuff there turns out to be in him, he is pretty sure to prosper. If it lay in my power to help such a man, at any time, surely it were a luxury for me. But one man very rarely can be helped much by another: it is melancholy to reflect how true this is! A kind feeling, a brotherly loving look to cheer our brother on; this is too often almost all we can do for him.

I do not know much about Mentzel;2 nor have I been led to consider him as any very momentous man. He seems to me to have far worse heresies than thinking poorly of Sir Walter Scott. With all heresies the Translation of his Book will probably do some good.

I remain,

Dear Sir, / Yours very truly /

T. Carlyle