January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO J. P. ECKERMANN ; 31 May 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450531-TC-JPE-01; CL 19: 72-73


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea London, 31 May, 1845—

My dear Sir,

Your Letter of the 7th of May, the first I have had from you for many years, arrived today only (tho' it had not lingered in our London Post-Office): it would have been highly gratifying to me, but for the very sad piece of misfortune and mismanagement on somebody's part, which is too clearly indicated in it! I never received, or heard any notice whatever of the Goethe Manuscript:1 what it's fate has been is to me altogether a mystery! The Booksellers Chapman and Hall, to whom you appear to have sent it, are in the habit of forwarding all manner of things to me, with sufficient punctuality; nor was I out of town last autumn at all, except for ten days: so that I have little expectation of any good tidings from their Establishment in reference to this precious missing object. I did walk over thither this evening, to assure myself by special inquiry, tho' with almost no hope of benefit: but there2 shop was shut before I got so far. I would not lose a Post, but inform you at once what the state of the matter is.

My notion is there would not be much chance of a proper appreciation here at present for such an object: but certainly had it come to me, from such a hand as yours, I should have done what lay in me towards the disposal of it, and at lowest have instantly announced its arrival. The business now will be if possible to recover it,—to get upon the trace of it. Wherein you will of course use all diligence; and if I can at all assist you here, I certainly will. There is no great likelihood that it is utterly destroyed: it must by lying buried somewhere; and diligence may unearth it again.

I am very glad to hear of another Volume of Dialogues with Goethe: the former two have got a very fair Translation in America3 and have been read with much acceptance among us here. A new Volume, any new Volume from you, shall be very welcome to me. Some tidings too of what has befallen you since I heard last would gratify me much.

I have had a busy heavy life here, much borne down with ill health too; and am at present again as busy or busier than I ever was with very ugly labour. It will end—by and by! Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle

Mr Lockhart's Address:

J. G. Lockhart Esqr
26. Sussex Place
Regent's Park

I got a mask of Goethe's Face from Scheffer at Paris:4 I could almost have wept at sight of it. At night, when the lights are beneath it, it looks out on me like the face of an Olympian, saying silently, “Heran [Come hither]!”