January 1835-June 1836

The Collected Letters, Volume 8


TC TO JOHN STUART MILL; 28 May 1836; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18360500-TC-JSM-01; CL 8:349-351.


[?Late May 1836]

My Dear Mill,

Many thanks for your Letters, for the Hist. Parl.; for all your kind messages and attentions to me. I meant to have been at the India House, or somehow to have met you, long before this; but a miserable Influenza (with a blessing to it!) keeps me pining mostly at home; incapable oftenest even of forming a resolution. And you too are sickly; and your Father's house is in distress.1 Things go not well with us. We must wait and hope. One of these days you shall surely see me in one way or another: this despicability of a disorder is promising to abate.

The foreign Packet charged £5..18..0 presented itself the day after your Note. By a Letter that come along with it, I learned that it was—what think you? A pamphlet of Dr Channing's on Slavery2 (or some such thing), and the American Edition of Teufelsdröckh!3 Instantaneous rejection to the Dead Letter Office was inevitable. Next day my Brother called on Freeling4 or some of his people; they offered him the Packet for ten shillings: but 3/6 was the maximum of my commission to him; so Teufelk lies dormant, very singularly again, waiting his new destinies; never to be liberated by me.5 I cannot but laugh at the whole matter, it looks so confused and absurd.

What to say of Mirabeau?6 I spread the Book all down before me, after your Brighton Letter;7 twice attempted to fasten on it, twice failed: bis patriae cecidere manus [twice have my hands failed my country]!8 It seems as if there were but one blessedness for me in the world, that of getting done with this fatal History of mine: the thought that one day I shall not have it weighing down the life of me is like a prophecy of resurrection. And yet I am unjust to the poor Book. It enables me, it mainly, to sit all this while in the quietest defiance I have ever felt of a whole world so contradictory and menacing; awaiting the issue really with a kind of indifference that astonishes myself. Your last Note brings the thing again to the judgement seat. I will see you before deciding irrevocably. Indeed till this coughing and pining abate, I ought to decide nothing.

Pray do not take the trouble of sending any more Newspapers to Mott's.9 When you are writing to me, or when I see you, give me three of the latest you have at hand: I have a use for them (I send them to my Mother and Friends instead of Letters); but there are quite enough for that: and as to reading of Newspapers I find Fonblanque10 to have become again quite abundant for me.

John is very impatient to meet you; and will go I think himself, if I do not accompany him very soon.

I am in great haste; my wife waiting for me. Surely I have forgotten two or three things.

Ever yours, /

T. Carlyle.