The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JOSEPH NEUBERG; 16 January 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510116-TC-JN-01; CL 26: 17-18


Chelsea, 16 jany, 1851—

Dear Neuberg,

Here is Varnhagen's Reply, about a week old now; I may as well send it off to you, that you may read at first hand what concerns your own affairs in the Berlin quarter.1 As the text of the Note is at once private and unimportant, I think you had better, having once fairly treasured up what is practical in it, burn the whole. I long to hear what becomes of you at Berlin; how this or other projects prosper with you there or elsewhere.– — I myself am utterly silent; idle wd be as good an epithet; for indeed I am still low in point of health, not joyful over the aspect of outward things, and destitute of force (at present) to cut my way towards any sure object among them. A lonely, dangerous, and not very pleasant “way”! One has even to sit still, in such circumstances; and try if one can gather a little strength again for a new plunge thro' these trackless regions,—the like of which have seldom been travelled by an honest citizen, I think! The aspect of this social chaos (which invades one's health and very heart) rushing down, as in avalanches, towards the belly of the Abyss, amid the cheers of all creatures for their “chrystan palace” and “progress of the species,”2 is very far from cheering to a thoughtful man! But one must be patient too.— Last night Wilkinson came in on us; and along with him, as it chanced, Foxton (the Abjurer), and another Cidevant [former] revd of still more ardent pretensions.3 Heterodoxy without limit was the consequence; heterodoxy, with some touches of Homœpathy and of better things. Foxton is not a genial man, but he is a healthy and practical; reminds you of an English weaver who has found that his loom won't go. A wonderful good humour in him, considering his situation as Cidevant.— — Pray write again in the Leader;4—or is it not pity you had not some more diffusive and solid-going vehicle? We always like your Letters far beyond anything else there— Beautiful weather, and all well.

Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle