April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO SIR EDWARD BULWER LYTTON ; 12 April 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440412-TC-SEBL-01; CL 18: 9


Chelsea, 12 April, 1844—

My dear Sir,

Last night your servant delivered me the Book.1 As we do not yet meet according to my hope, I feel impelled to write, what there is no opportunity of speaking, a more special word of thanks for my Schiller,—which is more properly yours and the world's. I did read it on the night appointed, and with very great pleasure. It is many a day since I saw so glowing, hearty and altogether vivid, sympathetic and poetic a Biography of a Man; pity that we had not a hundred such to read! For Biography, I imagine after all, is the real summary of “Poetry”; from Homer's Odyssey to the Gospel of St Matthew the grand and truly important writings we have are all “Biographies” spoken or sung!2 Again I wish we had a hundred such done in as good a way as this. Many thanks to you, in my own name and that of a multitude of others.

Since you heard of me last, I think there have been but two exceptions from my rule as to three o'clock: it was especially unlucky that the very first exception should have been the day when you were so kind as call here. At Hertford Street3 my luck was no better,—could be no better, so late am I always. I hope there are other days coming. Non omnes occiderunt soles [Not all suns will set]; that is the universal Gospel in this Place of Hope.

I remain with many kind thanks & regards

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle