The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN STUART MILL ; 7 October 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18401007-TC-JSM-01; CL 12: 278-279


Chelsea, Wednesday [7 October 1840].

Dear Mill,

I perused your Tocqueville1 last night, with great satisfaction. It is a pleasure to see anything so well stated, in such lucid sequence and completeness, the pen so effectually performing what it undertakes to do. Tocqueville, I think, suits you a little better than he did me; tho' I honour him too after his kind. Your objections to him are precisely to the same effect as mine, but luckily they do not run so deep as mine,—almost into the very heart, I fear! The Book will do much good, and your Article much.

And now when will you write of the New Aristocracy we have to look for? That seems to me the question; all Democracy a mere transitionary preparation for that. You hint pertinently at it in concluding; but had no room there to do more.2 I should really like to hear you on the Sequel; you and all wise men.

My friend Sewell of the Quarterly is what the Germans call ein Sonderbarer [strangely singular] Christ; his “thirty-nine glasses”3 lift him above comparison with Men or Formulas. In all History, I think, Puseyism seeks its fellow! The poor old shovel-hat beginning, at this hour of the day, to assert from the housetops, “I either came out of Heaven and am a godlike miracle and mystery, or else an importunate old felt, demanding to be flung to the beggars!” It is the fatallest alternative I ever heard of for the Church of England.

A huge hamper of Cromwell Books arrived yesterday;4 frightful to look upon. I am for coming up one of these nights to see what you have in that sort. One learns almost nothing; yet one has to read,—it keeps one's own mind fixed vehemently on the thing; really that is the chief use of it!

Yours ever truly / T. Carlyle 5