The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO ELIZABETH HAMILTON; 30 November 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511130-TC-EHA-01; CL 26: 245-246


Chelsea, 30 Novr, 1851—

Dear Mrs Hamilton,

I have written to offer an interview to Mr White:1 surely any friend presenting himself on those terms is well worth attending to!—

I was in Wor'stershire, immersed in medical and many other confusions, when the news of your great loss and my own reached me.2 In the world I had few friends left who had been as well-affected, true, and ever-ready to help me in all things; nor in the course of my whole life had I known a more genuinely worthy man. You may think, whether, if I had nothing to say, I had also nothing to feel on that subject! I said nothing, rather because I had too much to say,—because in fact I am getting more and more into the way of keeping silence about all things that much concern me, in this loud-babbling very foolish world, to which in general there is no speaking with good effect about such matters. This hard method grows more and more the suitablest to myself; but I now find it was somewhat unjust and very unkind-looking to one so related to me and to the sad event as you;—for which I beg you to forgive me, and to interpret me kindly. Thirty-four years friendly neighbourhood in this world is surely a tie between two human souls. Ah, me; ah, me!—

I hope to get as far as Woburn Square, and see you again, before very long, in spite of all my confused impediments; and I bid you believe me always, Dear Mrs Hamilton

Your old and sincere friend /

T. Carlyle