The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 29 April 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500429-TC-JAC-01; CL 25: 77-78


Chelsea, 29 April, 1850—

My dear Brother,

Here is the Stump-Orator; I might have sent it on Saturday,1 had I staid a little longer in, for the Parcels-Company left it that day still in time for post,—why published that day, I cannot tell:—however, here it is, soon enough “for all practical purposes” I do imagine.

Chapman and I have exchanged missives (his, after long delay, came this morning) upon the subject of finance;—and can, I am sorry to say, do nothing satisfactory on that matter hitherto. I demand £10 per thousand Pamphlets; it was, if I remember, his own offer once long ago: he now shrieks at the idea of it,—his letter, this morning, is really the letter of a beaver or badger, doing business in the publishing line;—he grumbles and mumbles; dies away into “Half-profits,” or some other beautiful invisibility, which I have decided that I will by no means put up with.— I have written him, accordingly, something to tickle his guns2 in the cold weather. Nay a prospect (welcome to flesh and blood, in my weary cowardly state) rises of closing the Pamphlets adventure with No 6; and writing what else I have to say in another form, and perhaps publishing it with another man! This, I think, will hardly be the way of it either; but so much, I have let Chapman see, may lie in the cards for us. We will wait how it turns out.— I was deep in No 6, and shall finish that at any rate: alas, it is a hopelessly flat affair, and will never turn to much, let me hammer it as I will. The barking babble of the world continues in regard to these Pamphlets; hardly any wise word at all reaching me in reference to them: but I must say out my say in one shape or other,—and will, if Heaven help me,—not minding that at all. The world is not here for my objects; the world is here for its own: let me too be here for “my own”!— —

Our weather is cold north-easterly: I hope my poor Mother does not suffer from it too much. It is good neither for skin nor heart. I feel my liver suffer from it; nay my very corns get an additional poignancy. We must wait, and expect the West wind again.— Chorley, I suppose, is at Gibraltar; his people,3 a week ago, had heard nothing direct from him. Craik is here; bustling about buying Belfast-Library Books; eating dinners; his manner more solidly official; his honest nose and countenance a shad[e]4 broader and more purply than heretofore. Alfred Tennyson came down with Fitzgerald one evening: very mouldery and dilapidated A. looks;—does nothing but travel in railways and dine; his “work-arm” seemingly as good as broken.5 Spedding too I saw one day, he walked with me from Piccadilly down past this door; mild but unproductive:6 Aubrey de Vere too one day, ditto ditto. No human word, or hardly any, once in the month, is uttered to me by any fellow mortal: a state of things I have long bewailed, but learn ever better to endure, and silently draw inferences from. Work, work, dear Brother; stick to your work, now that you have found some! All persons of judgement are unanimous that yours is work, and that you ought to persist and finish it, with or witht encouragement. Ohne Hast, aber ohne Rast [Without haste, but without rest].7 We are still a little anxious about Jean, tho' the news she sends (same day with yours from her) is good. Adieu dear Brother, Mother & you all!

T. Carlyle