October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


TC TO MACVEY NAPIER; 17 December 1831; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18311217-TC-MN-01; CL 6:66-67.


4. Ampton Street, Mecklenburg Square / 17th December 1831—

My Dear Sir,

I have, barely within my time, [finished] that Paper;1 to which you are now heartily welcome, if you have room for it.

The Doctrines here set forth have mostly long been familiar convictions with me; yet it is perhaps only within the last twelvemonth that the public utterance of some of them could have seemed a duty. I have striven to express myself with what guardedness was possible: and, as there will now be no time for correcting Proofs, I must leave it wholly in your Editorial hands. Please to keep the Ms for me; and three Copies of the printed Paper.

Nay, should it on due consideration appear to you in your place (for I see that matter dimly, and nothing is clear but my own mind and the general condition of the world) unadviseable to print the Paper at all, then pray understand, my dear Sir, now and always, that I am no unreasonable man; but if dogmatic enough (as Jeffrey used to call it) in my own beliefs, also truly desirous to be just towards those of others. I shall, in all sincerity, beg of you to do, without fear of offence (for in no point [indeed] will there be any), what you yourself see good.

[A] mighty work lies before the writers of this time. I have a great faith and a great hope that the Edinburgh Review will not be wanting on its part, but stand forth in the van, where it has some right to be.

But we shall get to understand these things better, and much else; for I hope to see you soon, and ask and answer to great lengths. We purpose coming home by Edinr, perhaps in two mo[n]ths, perhaps much sooner.

The Book-trade is still dead, or in a state of suspended animation. The aspect of that world fills me with shuddering admiration.— I rather think I must even stick my own little Book2 in my pocket again, after all.

I have various other things in posse to write for you; but shall forbear speaking of them till it can be done with readier organs than these.

The Reform Bill sails with fair wind and full sea. May the Heavens grant but this one prayer: That we had done with it!

I hope soon to hear of you; and am always,

My Dear Sir, / faithfully Your[s,] /

T. Carlyle.