April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO [C. K. J. BUNSEN?] ; 27 September 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440927-TC-CKJB-01; CL 18: 222-223


Chelsea, 27 Septr, 1844—

My dear Sir,

Plattnauer has quitted this country about a week ago; so that we need not now spend any more of our time on his case. He staid with us here a fortnight or more, in really interesting circumstances. I wished to certify you of a thing or two respecting him, of which I myself had become gradually certain: That he was a man of strict honour and integrity, of good talent and acquirement, of dignified manners, of much real manly worth; that he was not, and to appearence had never been, in the least disaffected against his native Government, or any person or thing connected therewith; that he seemed to me very capable of doing good service, by his sword, or his pen, or in many other ways, as his rank pointed out, in his native Country; were the career reopened to him;—and that here, for want of such permission, the obstructions pressing on him were frightful. Of course you do not know his late history. External difficulties, long weighing on an earnest true and proud spirit, had at length acted on his health; being a man of iron energy and resolution he had decided on strenuous measures for the cure of his body at least,—on the water-cure, namely, and had prosecuted this with such determination that it brought on a kind of brain-fever (not uncommon, I am told, in such cases); and the kindness of comparative strangers had to deliver him, one may say, really from the Abyss. He is now put in communication with friends; sent to travel by the pressing order of his Doctor; mind and body, I do think, on the way towards complete cure: and so we may hope better days at least than these latter ones are coming for the poor young man. I do not know that you can now do anything for him, or that you could ever have done much: but I state the above facts to you, as facts I am very clear about; and if at any time you have opportunity of repeating them in the proper quarter, with your own added conviction that they are facts,—why, it may do some good to a really brave man, and so give a pleasure to yourself withal. And now enough of Plattnauer.

The Translator of Accorombona is properly a Miss Bölte, a young Lady from Berlin, whom Hitzig recommended to me several years ago;1 whom my Wife got placed with the Bullers (Cs. Buller's Parents) as Governess to a young girl of their household. They are all now gone to Paris, on their way towards Nice. A Letter written straightway will still find Miss Bölte: “Aux soins de [Care of] M. Buller, Hôtel de Mirabeau, Rue de la Paix, à Paris.” I think there was some English Lady connected with finishing the version; but this Fraulein Bölte, I am very sure was in it, and I think, the ostensible party. Newman, Paternoster Row, is the Bookseller.2

I do not make much of Dahlman; a solid but somewhat ligneous genius, to whom the secret of English Puritanism does not seem to have disclosed itself.3 “Constitutional Liberty” is but a very small parergon of that grand Attempt to shape your Life according to the Christian Scriptures; one of the grandest Attempts ever made,—and not likely to be repeated, by Dahlman & Co at least!

Yours ever truly

T Carlyle