April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO ALEXANDER J. SCOTT ; 12 November 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18441112-TC-AJS-01; CL 18: 265-266


Chelsea, 12 Novr, 1844—

Dear Scott,

A good while ago you left a message here with my Wife, about the Copy of the Foscolo Dante,1 which I had been mentioning to you, as belonging to my Brother, and at your service.

Both Brother and Dante were in Scotland at the time, and have continued there far longer than I expected. I now find that Mazzini has a Copy of the Book, which he will willingly lend you; therefore as the briefer method I accept his offer;—and have engaged him accordingly to leave the Volumes for you at the Wedgwoods' in Gower Street. They will be there, with your Address upon them, and coming whence I tell you,—in some three days from this date. More is not needful to be said on that head of our discourse.

I hope you get well on with your Dante operations; and find the study of such a man more and more fruitful. It is good to keep company with such: I say that, sometimes by way of consolation when ready to choke in my hideous Puritan Golgotha. Courage!

It was a great and most welcome piece of news to us, that your Doctors had withdrawn their ominous sentence from you. Not that I ever attach entire credence to the sentences of Doctors on such matters; but the Imagination lays hold of them, works mischievous confusion with them, nevertheless. It is best that they withdraw themselves. You may be inclined to infer now that as to your ill-health, Doctors with their stethoscopes know very little of it; that it is in brief the general damage and set of wounds you have got, in a pretty tough Life-battle, continued for a good many years now;—and that, by the blessing of Heaven, you may still be able to go on and fight, for an indefinite period, and give the Enemy many a home-thrust yet,—and occasionally get your foot on his neck too; better than ever!

When the weather improves, we must certainly attempt a meeting. Pity there are so few. Do not neglect to call at any rate when you are in Town.— And all good be with you, seen by me or not seen.—Yours very sincerely,

T. Carlyle