The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO ARTHUR HELPS ; 8 June 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520608-TC-AH-01; CL 27: 141-142


Chelsea, 8 june, 1852—

Dear Helps,

Have I not heard you, oftener than once, speak of some House-builder or Carpenter, commonly employed by you in such work, who has the two rare properties, fidelity and good sense?1— We have a vague speculation here about ex[e]cuting2 some considerable repairs on this House, adding a top story to it (inaccessible to sound, for one thing, and lighted from the sky) &c &c, a Lease of the House being offered us on these conditions. Now if I am right in my remembrance of your man, could you send him to me for a little consultation on the subject. He may find me any evening about 6, while there is still daylight enough. He ought to be warned (and you) that the whole thing is very uncertain hitherto; and that our first immediate want is only of advice that can be relied on.

I called yesterday at Ebury Street; but you were gone, it was not known for how long. You must by no means absent yourself on Saturday;3 attend well to that, for I believe the Neapolitan snake has still life in it! Be sure to come.

Officially, I perceive, you have no longer a call to be here,—that is to say, typographically. Last night there came gliding in to me, a beautiful second volume of the Conquerors of the New World:4 “Ah,” said I to myself, “there is the corpus delicti!” I expect a right pleasant evening, going thro' this new sin of yours.

Adieu: forget not Saturday; and send the Builder to me if he will come.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle