January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO HENRY INGLIS; 22 December 1830; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18301222-TC-HI-01; CL 5:204-205.


Craigenputtoch, 22nd December 1830—

My Dear Sir,

We learn with the sincerest sorrow the melancholy errand you are bound on;1 and trust in God that matters will not be so bad as you fear. The whole matter in the Newspapers had so much the appearance of a Hoax that we paid little heed to it; but alas! alas!——

Meanwhile this is not the time for lamenting, but for acting. It strikes me that if you will call on my Brother, he may be able to introduce [you] to some persons of worth, prudence and even influence, who know London, and will take a real interest in your search. In particular, there is one Family the Montagues of Bedford Square, whom I think it will be well worth your while to see: the Husband a Chancery Barrister of some note, Commissioner of Bankrupts, and man of humanity and experience, may perhaps give you good advice at all events show you where to seek it: his Lady is simply the most acute, intelligent and accomplished woman I ever saw; of a most generous nature also, and will receive you with all helpfulness, even were you not my friend; her advice on all subjects is well worth listening to. —John can also take you to Edward Irving, who is extensively connected, of great humanity, and far wiser in all matters of Business than any stranger to his person would expect. There is even a certain Keeper of a Madhouse, one Dr Allen,2 a worthy man, whom you might consult with: the Montagues themselves have had too much to do with that sort of Establishments.

If these suggestions are of any value to you, send or carry this Letter to my Brother (Dr Carlyle, 16. Caroline-Street, Bedford-Square, London), and you will have all the help he can render you, as readily as if he were your own Brother.

In conclusion, we beg to hear what befals you, the first instant you have leisure. Also if you can come in hither as you return, do it; whether your success have been good, or evil—in the latter case you have more need to come. And so may God assist you, and guide you safe thro' this hard but sacred duty! Above all, do not lose your reason, your composure: do nothing rashly; and let your “vengeance” (this I most particularly request and enjoin) be Forgivenness,3 which is the only revenge that beseems a man. Again, may God guide you, my dear Young Friend!—

Ever your affectionate, /

T. Carlyle—