April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO MARY ARNOLD ; 12 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440712-TC-MA-01; CL 18: 126-127


Chelsea, 12 July, 1844—

My dear Madam,

You are very kind; and your remembrance is highly gratifying to me.1 I well recollect that happy day I passed in your house; a day very memorable to me in itself, and rendered doubly so by the tragedy which soon followed. Every circumstance of those hours is still present to me, and will be: in particular a sentiment of yours, about the instability of all earthly blessedness, which you uttered, looking out upon the two beautiful merry Boys2 seated outside the carriage there, has often come impressively to mind. Alas, the sword was already brandished to strike; and it was as if you had heard the whizzing of it in the air!—

It has given me true satisfaction to learn from time to time that you bear your great bereavement, the greatest that could well fall on a human being without guilt, in a brave and devout manner. “Tho' He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”3 We have no other wisdom here below. The voice of all the Prophets and the Wise speaks very stead-fastly, responded to by our own inner voice, “Be of hope.”

Surely the kind Gift you announce shall be ranked among my precious things;—precious for its intrinsic qualities, and for the adjuncts connected with it. From all quarters I hear it commended, on many sides I have already snatched specimens of it: my first two days of leisure have, for a month back, been preappointed for a deliberate perusal of the work. I shall read my own copy of it with a new clearness, and re-read it.

May all blessing be with you, my dear Madam; may strength be lent you for the Duties you have yet to do here, which is the summary of all blessings.

With many thanks, with much regard, I am always

Yours very sincerely

T. Carlyle