The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO ALFRED VON REUMONT ; 7 February 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520207-TC-AVR-01; CL 27: 31


Chelsea, London, 7 feby / 1852—


There came to me, about a week ago, thro' the Foreign Booksellers, a Copy of your new work, Die Carafa von Maddaloni;1 for which, tho' there was no signature or express indication, I consider myself indebted to your own special kindness; and will beg to return you many thanks for so honourable and estimable a Gift. I have read the Book, in spite of multifarious occupation otherwise, and this with a pleasure which is by no means common at the present advanced stage of my reading. Indeed no new Book that I have met with for a good while has nearly so much contented me. It gives proofs of extensive solid study; it abounds in information, much of which is new to me, some of which highly interesting; and there reigns throughout a vivid faculty of delineation which is justly welcome to the reader. The sections on Masaniello2 and the wild scene he worked in, of which I had never any good understanding before, are the best picture I have looked at for many a day. In fine, I have learned many facts from your Book which are more or less memorable; for every one of which I am your debtor, as well as for the peculiar honour done me; and I thank you very sincerely on both grounds.

If this is among your first Books,—which point, as I am much a stranger to recent or current German Literature, remains uncertain to me,—I think we may expect many other and still higher services from you: and in that case, give me leave to suggest how many noble German Actions, and heroic characters, are lying buried under mountains of miserable pedant dust; what a wilderness, tenanted by mere Nox and Atropos3 and their baleful Progeny, the real history of your noble Fatherland still is,—as, alas, that of mine also! These facts are not creditable to the Intellect of either country; nay they lead me often into reflexions of a very sad nature, which go down to the heart of the world, and which cannot expect to find much resonance in such days as now are.

Accept many thanks and good wishes; and believe me

Yours very sincerely /

T. Carlyle


H. Alfred von Reumont

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