January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO THOMAS BALLANTYNE ; 28 February 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430228-TC-TB-01; CL 16: 67-68


Chelsea, 28 Feby., 1843

My dear Sir—Many thanks for your Notes; which were sufficient for my purpose. I had already written down “some 13” as the cipher of the Manchester business;1 and so it may now stand.

The Book is to be called Past and Present: one stiff volume, treating of the grand “Condition of England Question,”2—I suppose, in a somewhat unexpected way. But you will see in not many weeks. The Printer is already at work,—though the poor Writer has still a rather heavy fortnight in store before ending; and was seldom busier.

The Booksellers Chapman and Hall have forwarded, from me, a copy of Chartism; addressed “Mr. Samuel Bamford, Silk-weaver, Middleton near Manchester.” The Book, they tell me, now lies or will straightway lie, at the shop of Syms and Dinham (if I remember the name right) in Manchester, “to be called for.” Will you be so kind as call for it, or apprise Bamford that he must call.

I could rejoice to hear that Bamford had decided on sticking to authentic Prose; writing down many a thing that he with his own heart and eyes has known: that seems to me his true vocation as an Author; for Poetry I could trace no decided call in him. You need not mortify the brave man by telling him this straight out; —but if he could get in some oblique way convinced of it, I feel certain there were good and not harm done to him. He is certainly a remarkable man; calculated, one would say, to be the spokesman of much that lies dumb at present,—with no way of speaking itself but Chartist Insurrections, Trades Unions and such like; which are a very imperfect way indeed! It will be well worth your while to go and see him, to keep your eye upon him, if at any time there be possibility of helping him on his way.

I am spending my allotted minutes here,—and must end!

Yours always truly, /