The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO WILLIAM DOUGAL CHRISTIE ; 14 February 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410214-TC-WDC-01; CL 13: 33-34


Chelsea, 14 feby, 1841—

Dear Christie,

I have read the Pamphlet,1 and find it, except one or two errors of the press, all well. The only point now is that we could get all the world to read it, and lay it to heart! For the present I have no hold of any Review; and indeed not a moment's time if I had. By and by, we shall see.

Your augury that Cochrane will be an inert Librarian is far from mine.2 I know the man, for one thing, to be a most assiduous diligent man; and his whole faculty and ambition are now directed on this object. I think it will be a great pity if we do not, as I prophesy we shall, allow him to conciliate us all; and start fairly with what of resources the Enterprise has.

Brittan did look very pettish when I proposed the new fortnight to him. I had to fling the reins on his neck, and say “He might go then,” before he would agree to sit still on the old terms. He complained of nothing specific, but seemed in a general bad humor. I suppose him to be unhappy, poor fellow, not without reason. It is of no use quarreling with him now; let him depart, as peaceably as may be, and give him your blessing.

Cochrane undertakes to be in the office “on the 17th at 10 in the morning.” Could you, who have the whole threads of the business in your hand, give him hold, in some way, of the work he has to do. The rest will gradually arrange itself, were a beginning once made.

We shall have to get our joint Secretaryship laid handsomely down in some way,—I suppose in presence of some General Meeting. It is what I want, and long for, no less than you. The burden has been almost altogether yours; but the hypocritical semblance of a burden, this, with many pitiful etceteras, weighs heavy too on me. We shall then be Non-Secretaries! The London Library will have the breath of life in it; may grow as it can. Your promptitude, your swift diligence, energy and dexterity will always be a memorable thing to me.

Yours, dear Christie, / Very truly, / T. Carlyle