October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO THOMAS AIRD ; 14 November 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451114-TC-TA-01; CL 20: 56-57


CHELSEA, 14th Nov. 1845.

DEAR AIRD,—I will attend well to what you say about Gilfillan;1 and certainly if I can do him any good on such an occasion, it will be a duty as well as a pleasure to me. My personal connection with Reviews, &c., has altogether ceased, for a long while; nor indeed is there any very clear way of seeking to give furtherance to a man of real merit, amid the crowd of empty pretenders and of false judges that we have at present. But it is the more incumbent on one to do what is possible; and in that I will endeavour not to fail as occasion serves. … Reviews, I believe, do little good nowadays, except by the extracts they give, which keep alive some memory of the Book till people judge of it for themselves. Our address for the next two or three weeks is—Hon. W. B. Baring, Bay House, Alverstoke, Hants (we are setting out thither for a little more of the country tomorrow). Or Chelsea, the old address, will always find us after a short delay. John is still ‘gravitating’ towards you; will alight in Dumfries, I believe, by-and-by—when the fogs have become heavy enough. He is very busy with Dante, &c., at present, and seems lazy to move. This, in spite of its fogs, is the Paradise of ‘men at large,’ this big Babylon of ours.

We have in the evenings gone over the ‘Old Bachelor in his Scottish Village,’2 and find him a capital fellow of his sort. The descriptions of weather and rural physiognomies of nature in earth and sky seem to me excellent. More of the like when you please!

My wife sends many kind regards to you; take many good wishes from us both. —Yours always very sincerely,