January 1835-June 1836

The Collected Letters, Volume 8


TC TO JOHN STUART MILL; 7 March 1835; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18350307-TC-JSM-01; CL 8:70-71.


Chelsea, Saturday [7 March 1835].

My Dear Mill,

How are you? You left me last night with a look which I shall not soon forget. Is there anything that I could do or suffer or say to alleviate you? For I feel that your sorrow must be far sharper than mine; yours bound to be a passive one. How true is this of Richter: “All Evil is like a Nightmare; the instant you begin to stir under it, it is gone.”1

I have ordered a Biographie Universelle this morning;—and a better sort of paper. Thus, far from giving up the game, you see, I am risking another £10 on it. Courage, my friend!

That I can never write that Volume again is indubitable: singular enough, the whole Earth could not get it back; but only a better or a worse one. There is the strangest dimness over it. A figure thrown into the melting-pot; but the metal (all that was golden or goldlike of that,—and copper can be gathered) is there; the model also is, in my head. O my friend, how easily might the bursting of some puny ligament or filament have abolished all light there too!

That I can write a Book on the French Revolution is (God be thanked for it) as clear to me as ever; also that, if life be given me so long, I will. To it again, therefore! Andar con Dios [Go with God]!

I think you once said you could borrow me a Campan?2 Have you any more of Lacretelle's3 things; his 18me Siecle? (that is of almost no moment). The first vol of Genlis's Mém.?4 &c But I find Campan (if I get the Biographie) is the only one I shall really want much. Had I been a trained Compiler, I should not have wanted that. To make some search for it, I know, will be a kind of solace for you.

Thanks to Mrs Taylor for her kind sympathies. May God guide, and bless you both! That is my true prayer—

Ever your affectionate friend,/

T. Carlyle—