July 1836-December 1837

The Collected Letters, Volume 9


TC TO JOHN STUART MILL; 5 April 1837; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18370405-TC-JSM-01; CL 9:184.


Chelsea, Wednesday [? 5 April 1837]—

My dear Mill,

The whole of the First Volume of the F. R. has now been in type for two or three days; I have got some ten sheets of it perfect; and shall get the remaining four or five in the course of the week. These with three or at most four of the Third Volume (by the other Printer) are all I yet have. A Proofsheet or two of the Feast of Pikes (Vol II) may also perhaps be attainable in the course of the week; but perhaps only. That is where we are.

I suppose therefore it will now be necessary for you to decide on not reviewing the Book for this Number.1 If you decide otherwise, let me know; and I will forthwith set about doing the needful.

It has been decided, in spite of Mr Singer's ill success,2 that I am still to lecture! In Willis's Rooms; to begin with May! six Lectures; on my own footing. God only knows how I shall get thro' it, in the hurry I am in; in the health I am in. But I must try; I have long had a thought of trying. I am on the whole got beyond fear, of anything. So soon as these Syllabuses or Prospectuses they are printing come into my hand, I will send you one or two of them.

In spite of my atrabiliar humours, I like the Book considerably better as it goes on in the printed state. It is not wholly a worthless Book; neither can it be wholly ignored forever. There will be men in England that will say Yes here and there; and innumerably men and quasi-men that will most unmusically shriek, and endeavour to say, No, No. As I told my Brother once, when he remonstrated with me: “Jack, there are some ten millions of men in this Island, who generation after generation spend their lives in supporting Conventionalities and Quackeries of one sort or the other,—why should there not once be one man who spent his life (were it his life even) in declaring openly to whatsoever quackhood he met, Behold thou art a quackhood!”—— Such a Book is awful: it is itself like a kind of French Revolution,—in its way!

God bless you! /

T. Carlyle.