August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO LORD ASHBURTON; 26 May 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470526-TC-LOAS-01; CL 21:220-221.


Chelsea, 26 May, 1847—

Dear Lord Ashburton,

By your kindness, or that of Bookseller Murray, I have got sight of your Pamphlet on the Money Crisis; and have read it with all attention.1 “One reader,” therefore, you actually “have the good fortune” to have got; one, and even two! And indeed it seems to lie quite within the Laws of Nature that you should get very many; for the topic is one of universal interest, and it is handled here in a style man like, and by one who has a good right to speak on it, if anybody has!—

My opinions on a subject so foreign to me are worth next to nothing: but I may be allowed to remark one real merit in this Piece of Writing: It is exceedingly like the Writer;—which, as a Spontaneous unconscious proof of its sincerity, is a great merit indeed. I must say farther that the diagnosis of the malady (railway speculation, pp. 24, 30 &c) agrees with all that poor Common-sense could ever teach me on the matter: if you waste your substance, of course you lose your “credit,” you have in fact nothing to be “credited,” or believed in, for the present! Farther that the notion of “currency,” so well developed at pp. 20–1, has many times been in my own head; and has filled me too with misgivings about the perfect wisdom of Peel's Act: that, for the rest, as you teach us, the essential point is certainly not a “metallic basis,” but a real basis (of meal and malt, and money's-worth in general):—and, on the whole, that this present Teaching, or Currency-Sermon as we may call it, is of the sound sort, and comes to the true conclusions; and has, for me at least, thrown much more light on the matter, than many sermons I have listened to from Doctors in bigger wigs had done!2 This is my true verdict; and I have not another word to say,— except perhaps that more sermons from the same hand, on these abstruse departments (much overshadowed by the wig, at present), would be very welcome to me.

With many thanks, with much regard, I remain always

Dear Lord Ashburton

Sincerely Yours

T. Carlyle