The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO CHARLES REDWOOD ; 5 August 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530805-TC-CR-01; CL 28: 240


Chelsea, 5 Augt, 1853—

Dear Redwood,—I got your Letter this morning; and was very glad to hear of you at first hand again; and very much obliged indeed by your ever-kind purposes towards me. Alas, there is no Wales, no rural fields at all, for me this year! I got so thoroughly smashed to pieces last season by my roamings up and down the world,—a mad operation, as I often said to myself, for there is never-failing misery, want of sleep &c &c, purchased by great effort and expense, in such things,—that I privately resolved to stay close at home on the present occasion; and do the best I could there, for at least one year. My Wife has been in Scotland; returned four days ago; we are now to stay in the silent Town; which really, when once the Quality are all out of it, becomes a very eligible place for carrying on study in. So stands it.— I am not sure, farther, but I shall still have to build one other apartment in this place,—a top-story extending over the whole house, with double walls (of a sort), lighted from above, and with internal means of ventilation: so that we may be deaf to all conceivable street noises; and may at least have the privilege of sleeping, and of reading, thinking, living, in an absolute divine silence henceforth! I have a plan for such a thing; and certainly it would be a glorious conquest to me.

My poor Enterprise on Friedrich II is the most impossible of all I have ever buckled with in this world; and cannot and will not come to the least success with me. I have given up all thoughts of “succeeding”; my one trembling hope is that of, some day, finishing,—getting my soul deliv[ered]1 of it, tho' with disgrace. And, alas, it is not yet begun; the writing part of it is still to begin!

Adieu, dear Redwood. Do not forget me, nor will I you.

T. Carlyle