October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JOHN HARLAND ; 15 March 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460315-TC-JHA-01; CL 20: 144-145


Chelsea, 15 March, 1846

Dear Sir,

You once kindly pointed out to me Three Letters of Cromwell's given in a Book called Bibliotheca Gloucestrensis;1 which Book (a very ignorant one) I am acquainted with, but have not by me. Neither can I now find among your old Notes the precise indications of those Three Letters. For the first edition of my Book I had, it may be presumed, found them unsuitable,—some Official kind of Burgh matter, or else in my possession already otherwise;—and so had thrown them aside. For this second Edition, however, which is to have an Appendix, it is possible they might not be altogether inadmissable: at all events, I should like to see the Documents themselves again, and try.

As you are always very ready to Oblige me, perhaps it will be my shortest method to ask if you could be so helpful as copy me the Letters out of that Bibliotheca;—on Paper of sufficient size, and written only on one side; with as few contractions as you like. I mean, that there be room for interlineation &c, in case the Articles be sent to the Printer.— — I have indication likewise of an “Oliver Letter” (most probably some totally worthless, official rag) of date “Whitehall 2 Decr 1657,”—printed in a Bristol Guide!2 If you happen to know this, this too might be sent: but if you do not, by no means think of going in chase of it thro' such a terra incognita. The rather as I can get it elsewhere, at the mere expense of writing a new Letter.

This new Edition is to be in Three Volumes: I have already done two of them, and the Printer has done one. The botheration and confusion of such a business is nearly unendurable; not to be fronted, in fact, except for the sake of an Oliver. I have had to introduce some forty or fifty new Letters into the body of the Text (of which new Letters you will get a separate Copy); an operation—which in fact I never will repeat for any cause!

I looked over Mr Dawson's Lectures, for most part, as they arrived; but could not form much image or conjecture about him or his audience out of them,—except that he seemed to have a really great capacity of utterance.3 Which is something; but by no means the best thing!—Yours always truly

T. Carlyle