The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO CHARLES CHILDS ; 16 August 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530816-TC-CC-01; CL 28: 252-253


Chelsea, 16 Augt, 1853—

My dear Sir,

Your Letter of this morning brings sad news to me;1 the saddest I have had for many a day; and falls sharp and peculiar, at a time when many things seem conspiring to make me sad! I have lost a true and valued friend, one of the few that were still left to me; and as brave a man as was to be found in this world lives and works in it no more. Alas, alas, I had always thoughts of coming to see him, and this very season, in spite of possibilities, I was solacing myself ever and anon with a dream of that kind; and now, under this sun I shall forever seek him in vain, and we can meet no more here.

Well, well; he lived like a valiant, clear and steadfast man, in the perverse and foolish generation, and was a shining example and rebuke to it in many things; and has victoriously done a great mass of manful work in his time; and may be named one of those few whom the world cannot conquer, but who conquer the world. Honour to him. His death also, was it not beautiful,— merciful? We will not sorrow weakly for such a man: he has gone honourably, having honourably finished the work that was given him to do. We will piously remember him and his manful demeanour in this perplexed pilgrimage, where we still are and he no longer is; and if we can imitate the noble qualities that were in him, he will not have died to us, but be still, in a nobler manner, living.

Adieu, my dear Sir. May Heaven's blessing and consolation be with you all. I must not write farther on such a subject. I am

Yours with real sorrow and sympathy

T. Carlyle

Chs Childs Esq