The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO S. V. HARE ; 24 November 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531124-TC-SVH-01; CL 28: 321


Chelsea, 24 Novr, 1853—

Dear Sir,

I am very sorry I cannot form the smallest guess as to the Motto on those two seals of your Oliver Letter. One thing seems evident: they were not put there by Oliver; the third seal will alone be his, and the other two must have been appended by some subsequent possessor of the Letter. By whom, or with what intention, can only be matter of the vaguest conjecture; but Oliver himself, we may be as good as certain, sealed only once, especially on that occasion, and by so sure a conveyance.

“Faithful subject of the King, and palladium (salus) of the Kingdom”: these words might have been, in the language of flattery, till some 3 years before, a description of Oliver himself, in the dialect of the time: but now (in 1650) there is no “King” nor “Kingdom”;1—it must have been an obsolete seal (signet–ring or the like?); probably applied long afterwards,—by Mrs Cromwell,2 or we know not what Possessor of the Letter, in finally repositing the same.

For the rest, I have no considerable skill in such matters; having seen very few of Oliver's seals, and that only by accident, while looking for other objects.

What you say of Penn's grave is very interesting:3 but I have little personal love for that heavy vain blockhead, in spite of his merits in several respects; and will not trouble you at present on his score.

With kind regards to your Brother and his Lady,4 if they have not quite forgotten me,—I remain (in haste)

Sincerely Yours /

T. Carlyle

S. V. Hare Esq