April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO JOHN CHILDS; 26 March 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490326-TC-JCHI-01; CL 23: 257


Chelsea, 26 March, 1849—

My dear Sir,

The munificent Gift, John Howe,1 arrived long before your Letter,—the next day, I think, after you were here. What hindered me from writing, what was felt and spoken, my hearty thanks to you for such a kindness, I do not know; perhaps some obscure feeling that your promises were all the same as facts,—that you would understand by intuition the Book had come!— I have read Calamy's life of Howe with the pleasure I always get from Calamy; and everywhere, as I dip into the big volume, there rise pleasant intimations, in obsolete dialect, that here also in his time was a man that knew light from dark as a man ought to know. Indeed his Face is itself the best Letter of introduction: I know not when I have seen a human countenance more expressive of valour and benignity, in the intellectual sphere. Many thanks to you. I find hitherto no corner in Cromwell that will well hold John Howe; but he will not be lost on me altogether, notwithstanding that.

Your case of the Bible-Printing is offensive to Cocker himself; how much more to all that lies above Cocker and the Multiplication-Table!2 It is truly abominable that men calling themselves Christian, and this Book God Almighty's, should so deal with it,—as no Pigs durst, if they had the slightest glimmering of Pig-belief that the fact was really so! I am sick of all that continent of hypocritical nonsense, and the brutal abuses and miseries that it everywhere breeds; and for many long years now it has been my fixed sorrowful prediction, that if Heaven's light and mercy did not considerably mend it soon, then the other place's lightning would be upon it one of these days; and a pretty blaze that will be, most likely!—

You are far and radically wrong as to that “intrusion” you talk of! No intrusion at all, even as the circumstances stood; no, but a very pleasant little visit; which we will thank you soon to repeat.

With many kind regards / Yours always truly / T. Carlyle