candlestick

1852


The Collected Letters, Volume 27


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TC TO J. LLEWELYN DAVIES ; 27 April 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520427-TC-JLD-01; CL 27: 96-97


TC TO J. LLEWELYN DAVIES

CHELSEA, 27 April 1852.

DEAR SIR,

I received, last night, with many thanks to you, the Plato's Republic;1 and mean, with my first leisure (if a leisure day do ever again come!), diligently to read the same.

The Divine Plato is always welcome to me, tho' hitherto rather useless, try him on what side I may—High, and radiant, and classically graceful always, but very unsubstantial; a beautiful zodiacal light, which is almost of no service for shewing your road, alas! Undoubtedly a rare and opulent human genius, and most lofty Athenian Gentleman; but dreadfully “at his ease in Zion,”2 which is reckoned a fault in some epochs! However, I do always try him again, on occasion; and endeavour to be thankful to the Gods.

I hope you will persist in your Greek translations.3 Plato among fine writers, Herodotus among historians, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Homer among poets:—I believe we shall now gradually get our small much-desired Greek Bible, out of Cambridge and the Schools;—and truly, after waiting for it these 400 years, it is now about time. The Greek “Bible” can be got:—but alas when shall we get any first instalments of the English one?4 That also exists, better or worse; but lying under such distracted chaos, in such a valley of Jehosephat,5 as was never seen before!— Surely we are all called to labour at it, doing each what he can.

With many regards, and good wishes for your success in all manner of honest work, I remain,—thanking you especially for this Book,

Yours very sincerely,

T. CARLYLE.