1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN RUSKIN; 23 January 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550123-TC-JRU-01; CL 29: 242-243


Chelsea, 23 jany, 1855—

Dear Ruskin,

It has been a thousand times a sorrow in my thoughts that I have not seen you all this time; and the worse as I partly had to give myself the blame of it. I got your sumptuous and excellent Gift (Stones of Venice II and III to add to Vol I);1 and never had the grace to utter one word of acknowledgement (I do suspect and believe) manifold thoughts and emotions to that effect as I necessarily had! Sinner that I am,—heavy-laden bewildered sinner; not willing one, no;—whom, in your goodness, and candour of merciful judgement, you cannot but forgive!—

The truth is, I have been eclipsed into nearly utter darkness this long while, by Prussian dust and other sore sufferings hard and tender; and have done very little except diligently hold my peace, in hope of better days,—whh on some occasions takes a good deal of doing.

If you will really come and see me any evening or day (especially after half-past 3,—or otherwise giving warning before), it will be a chosen mercy to me, I can assure you.2 The voice of a sincere human soul, even without thoughts in it, is like music to me; how much more if there is an opulence of human thoughts and cheery ingenuities and socialities in it!

We have tea every evg (hardly ever out) about half past 7. If I had a horse,—nay if I had not a lame foot at present (thanks to the genus Sutor CITRA crepidam,3 vile quack Sutor powerless to make a real shoe!) I wd come to Denmark Hill myself, in a hurry, and seek you out.— Manage to come, speedily, if you will do me a most welcome kindness.4

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle