The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART ; 6 January 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410106-TC-JGL-01; CL 13: 7-8


Chelsea, 6 jany, 1841—

My dear Sir,

Yesterday I left your Napier's Montrose1 with Fraser, who promised to send it home forthwith: many thanks for it. The Book is very readable, not without talent: an anticameronian rant,2 as in the former case,3 but with somewhat of the dissonance abated, marrowbone-and-cleaver music mostly left out &c. I find the great Montrose not unintelligible; a right brave man, with his haughty shut mouth, with his broad mournful brow; a man of genius,—a hero and hero-worshipper with nothing but a poor shambling Charles First to worship: one of the most tragical conditions.4 Ah me!

Have you Argyle's Letters among your Maitland Books; or is it a Bannatyne one?5

If you ever see that Mr Richardson of Fludyer Street,6 perhaps you will bethink you to gather from him Whether he actually possesses a stock of Covenant works, and is communicative of it? I have got from Scotland, after endless labour, a Baillie under way for me.7 A hapless man searching in these departments is like a cinder-sifter, a Parisian ragpicker, searching and swashing thro' all gutters, happy if here and there he find a copper button or an old nail!

I wish I fell in with you oftener.8 A mouthful of rational conversation does a man real good; and he seldom gets it, in these times and places, poor devil!

Yours very truly /

T. Carlyle