The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 27 January 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410127-TC-JAC-01; CL 13: 26-27


Chelsea, 27 Jany 1841

Dear Brother

It is difficult for me to give you an advice in reference to this of Hanning.1 I certainly consider it questionable to give him so much headway; it would be foolish, for himself and for yourself, to do it without more certainty of insight than there is yet. Perhaps your best way would be to ask Jamie about it; send his Rob's2 Letter on to Scotsbrig and ask, what prospect really is there? It would be hard to prevent poor Rob from doing a good turn to himself, when you could so easily forward him. But; on the other hand, you remember the black-whiskered Hash that came here inquiring for “Mr 'Anning!”— Tell Jamie to answer you decisively, in a practical manner; then ask Rob to get you some security,—by way of evidence to you that his scheme is practicable. Perhaps you might bid him get Jamie of Scotsbrig to be your security; and say, if Jamie will stand good, you will consider it right evidence. Jamie will not burden himself with such a risk, unless he see his way thro' it; and he can see, whether there is a way or no way.— On the whole I think perhaps the plan would be to write to Jamie (as above), and write to Rob also; and let them make it out between them. Let Rob understand that you must have a written bill, and all things in order; that you mean to be strict, and to be repaid at the date.— Moreover perhaps £50 would be enough at first, for one year; till you see how it prospers?— I have no more light upon it. Hanning is not well known to me, never transparent to me as yet, and his trade at present is of course wholly unknown.—

Today I have finished my revisal of Mahomet: very poor stuff I am in a terrible fright too about certain leaves of the end of Odin, which I thought to have found here; but which I hope are at the Printer's! I must go and see. No Proofsheet as yet.

Alas I know not when I shall begin to write Cromwell! Perhaps never. Here, with my present nerves, it is like sitting in the hollow of the great Bell of St Paul's: one can write nothing.

It is fine Spring weather. Jane is gone out; so must I. Adieu: let me hear again soon.

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle