October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO SAMUEL LAURENCE ; 6 November 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451106-TC-SL-01; CL 20: 44-45


Chelsea, 6 Novr 1845—

Dear Lawrence,

I yesterday, some hours after your Letter arrived, got sight of the Engraver and his Plate; and also, for the first time, of your Sketch. The Sketch is Capital,—the right face, or very near it, I have no doubt! I have just been begging it from Chapman, to have it put in a frame here; I hope it will prove attainable. It is really very good.

The Plate too, I am happy to say, will probably prosper after all! It is already much improved; the man (Francis Holl, 11. Cornwall Place, Brecknock Street, New Camden Town) is to come down hither and see the mask &c before he finish.1— The Mask lies in your Face too, only a little overlaid; also another Engraving (by Vertue) from Cooper,2 which I have here. The principal defect I noticed in your Sketch was a paring-off of the angle of the jaw; the Mask has an under-jaw like a lion's! The attitude of your head does not shew that much; and a little touch of shading I suppose would make all the difference. Further it did not seem to me very apparent whether you had given a slight moustache on the upper lip, or none. The Mask, and all good Portraits that I have seen, give not only a Charles-First on the underlip, but a modest soldier's-moustache on the upper. Lastly your nose was a little too big,—the right kind of nose too; but uncertain whether it was not going to somewhat of a bottle-nose—which is not the character of it, tho' under certain aspects a miniature might easily give it so. Indeed Vertue has taken it so. Your eyes too are Vertue's eyes; only the expression of sorrow, affection and anxiety in Vertue's is considerably aggravated.— I am well satisfied it is a good Portrait of Cromwell. I will advise the man to have regard to these particulars that I have mentioned. I hope we shall get moderately well thro', after all.

Meantime will you send to Chapman the Correct Copy of the Writing that is to go to the bottom of the Plate: I know it not,—I always forget the Proprietor's title, as Fitzgerald reproaches me for doing:

“From a Miniature (?) by Cooper, in the possession of the Revd ——— ——— (what? be sure you are right in his title!) ———— of ——— in Essex, a Descendant of the Family”3 (is that something like it?)———

Believe me always / Dear Lawrence / Yours most truly

T. Carlyle