January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO ROBERT S. TAIT ; 15 July 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560715-TC-RST-01; CL 31: 123-124


Chelsea, 15 july, 1856—

Dear Tait,

I this day had a view of the Little-Drummer Picture at Bath House (Fredk the Great & his Sister);1 and you are now and for what remains of this week, perfectly at liberty to act upon it by Photograph either there or at your own House. Now, therefore, or never! It is hugely superior to the Engraving we have here.

I ought to say, however, that I have given you a very false idea of the size of the Picture;2 it is much larger than I represented, and in a very fine Frame;—would not go into a Hackney Cab at all.— On the other hand the room where it hangs is second-floor, large, well lighted; also there is a free out-of-doors space, level with the first floor (towards Piccadilly; bushes growing on it, & a flagged walk in the middle); also a back Court, gravel, 30 or 40 yards square:—in fine, I judged likely it could be done far best where it now is.

Of course the first thing is that youall this, and examine its capabilities with your own eyes; at any time in the daylight hours, you have only to go to Bath House (first gate in Bolton Street out of Piccadilly), and present this Card. You will be at once admitted; even if the Lady is there, she can remove into another room.

If you make up your mind to proceed, please ask for “Mr Mason” (the Chamberlain) and consult with him about the hour, methods &c &c— This is all, and I am dreadfully whipt from post to pillar, so will end.

We in all probability go to Scotland about Wednesday next.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle