April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO SAMUEL BAMFORD; 21 April 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490421-TC-SBA-01; CL 24: 32-33


Chelsea, 21 April, 1849.

My dear sir,—It will not, I fear, be of much use to try a bookseller with the poems. Poetry of all kinds is a bugbear to the booksellers at present, for there is no kind of poetry that they find the public will buy. For my own part, too, I own I had much rather see a sensible man, like you, put down your real thoughts and convictions in prose, than occupy yourself with fancies and imaginations such as are usually dealt with in verse. The time is in deadly earnest; our life itself, in all times, is a most earnest practical matter, and only incidentally a sportful or singing or rhyming one:—Let S. Bamford continue to tell us in fresh truthful prose the things he has learned about Lancashire and the world; that, I must say, would be my verdict too!

Lord Lansdowne has hardly come across me again at all—I think only once—since he commissioned me to bid you send your book.1 In the huge whirlpool of things great and small, which the like of him lives in, he has doubtless let the transaction go out of his head; and had not you, according to my bargain with you, recalled the memory of it, all had remained forgotten. I have now communicated with his Lordship, and probably before long you will hear some farther account of it from him or me. Yesterday Lord Ashburton sent me the enclosed draft of £25, which I was in some handsome way to present to you as a proof of his approbation. On being consulted I had said there was a public testimonial set on foot for your behoof some time ago, to which, tho' it was no longer open to the public at large, his Lordship might still fitly contribute whatever acknowledgement of service he thought due to you.2 This draft is the result, which any Manchester banker who knows you, or knows a responsible man going with you to his bank will at once convert into cash, after which pray be so good as signify that you have received the amount, and that all is safe.3— With many good wishes, yours very sincerely,

Mr. Bamford, Blakely.

T. Carlyle