October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


TC TO MACVEY NAPIER; 22 June 1832; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18320622-TC-MN-01; CL 6:176-178.


Craigenputtoch, 22nd June, 1832—

My Dear Sir,

Here are the Corrected Proofs1 for your inspection. I am sorry to hear of your strait (literally a strait); but find no passage in this Article which could be cut out without great loss of blood. Solely, if you are so hard run that half a page will make any difference, that Extract, in page 9. beginning with “as traceable” and ending with “Sepulchre of all below” might be clipped off: it will do me little hurt; but the poor Rhymer some, being one of his finest passages. Another stave in page 17 beginning with “Light! all is not corrupt,” ending with “their Maker best”—might also be sacrificed to necessity;2 but nothing else that I see; and perhaps those fractions are beneath your notice. I hope so.

Mr Southey, I hear, is about reviewing this same Rhymer in the Quarterly Review; and has entered into some correspondence with him.3 The man is named Reuben Elliott, was bred an actual hammerman or something of the sort, and now, rather improved in circumstances, keeps some little hardware shop.4 I scarcely hope, there will much more or better come out of him; but it seems right that thus much should be recognised. I fancy myself to have done and induced you to do an act of Duty, in wishing God-speed (which is all the furtherance one can give) to so brave a Pilgrim. We shall see where he next arrives; whether he will not revolve in Political Unions, and arrive no farther: that is to be feared.

Thanks for your attention to my recommendation, which naturally in those circumstances fell to the ground. I shall be very happy to learn that Sir William is appointed, for whom I also have a great value.5

Thanks too for your promise about Books: this pray do not forget. I am often wonderfully circumstanced here for Books; like an old Hebrew doomed to make Bricks, and no straw allowed him!6 This is a great evil under the Sun. Why is there not a “Majesty's Library” in every county town? There is a Majesty's Jail and Gallows there already. You, who know thoroughly about this matter, should stir up the world to think of it.

The “three perfect copies” I have marked on the top of the Proof: if you can send that Address to Mr Black's, the people will know how to forward them, with the Review, or whatever else at any time.

Believe me always, / My Dear Sir, / Most truly your's, /

T. Carlyle—