The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO CHARLES REDWOOD ; 16 February 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500216-TC-CR-01; CL 25: 23-24


Chelsea, 16 feby, 1850—

Dear Redwood,—Many thanks for your kind Note. I did not think the Latter-Day Pamphlets would get so far westward in their flying condition; but hoped perhaps you might like them a little when bound into a volume. A volume is all I with clear certainty intend: the confused elements of it, encumbering my mind and desk-drawers, could on the whole be endured no longer; so in some way or other they were to be emptied out upon a discerning public. To make them into a Book; this with painful intense distillation might perhaps have been done,—perhaps should have been?—but in my poor heart there remained no longer patience enough for that feat on such a subject: so a Book of Sermons is what you get; some dozen or so of Sermons; and only one sermon to be done at a time, this is a much easier way of harnessing oneself. That is the whole secret of this new phenomenon. I hope,—if my health will at all stand out,—to get my mind rather plainly declared upon a number of subjects; after which I shall be much more at ease for a time: this is all the advantage I can clearly calculate upon,—if I can but get this; but alas it seems rather doubtful sometimes when I measure the strength that is in me! We must try, we must try. In black humours I have a very ghastly feeling of loneliness, no mortal creature to follow my flag on the forlorn hope; nothing but an inarticulate yelping of the poor parish dogs, “Whaf-thaf? Bow-wow!”—but at other times I take it more cheerfully, and know that there are many brave souls listening to me too.

My good old Mother is still spared me; full of clear activity intelligence and curiosity in her mind still (a most ardent Reader always), and in wonderful bodily health for one approaching her eightieth year. Thank God!— My Brother is there at present; works at his Dante there all last winter.— Mrs C. here continues also as well as usual; has gone out into the Spring sun just now,—with a little dog she has lately got and is greatly taken with! I myself am a little more bilious this winter, not otherwise worse in health than of old.— — Often, often do I think of Boverton, and the Cave of Refuge, and Rock Rimmon1 that remains to me there! Wait a little; I will not be killed here witht running to you!— Adieu, in haste.

Ever yours

T. Carlyle