April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO GERALDINE E. JEWSBURY; 1 December 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18491201-TC-GEJ-01; CL 24: 301


Chelsea, 1 Decr, 1849—

Dear Geraldine,

Will you make my compliments to your Brother Frank; and say, with my hearty acknowledgements to him and yourself, that if I come to the grand meeting, I will either sleep in some Hôtel (not the Palatine) or else in your House,—the latter much the likelier branch of the alternative. Excellent tobacco, perfect quiet, and cordial human welcome: what House is there, however high, that can give me more, or in the same completeness so much? This point, therefore, may be considered settled.

But, alas, it is very dubious whether I can have the courage to come at all. Impulse is not wanting; for I am really in a kind of fixed rage at all these brutal nonsenses in which this poor world lies steeped at present, simmering and fermenting towards issues that are fearful to contemplate; a good mass of which nonsenses arrange themselves as obstacles to what is clearly first and all-important, an “Education of the People”;—and certainly it would afford me some relief if I could tell the poor people a bit of my mind on that matter, for one! But on the other hand— Alas, there are hundreds of considerations that rise formidable and questionable on “the other hand”: and just now, the vis inertiae [power of inertia], and natural human laziness, warmly seconding all these, the balance seems to bend pretty decisively on that cowardly side again!— In two days or three I must decide; and you will hear from Espinasse, if not otherwise at first hand from Jane.1

Good be with you, dear Geraldine.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle