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[45] Basil; and his wife, ‘Basilissa;’ and their son, who was no favorite with him, ‘Basilisk.’ Mrs. M. told me an interesting story connected with Carlyle, which somewhat explains the singular style of his ‘French Revolution.’ This was written some time ago, with great labor, and put into the hands of a friend for perusal; while with him the greater part of it was accidentally destroyed. The friend at once offered the largest sum, by way of repairing the calamity, which any bookseller could have offered. This, of course, was refused; and Carlyle was quite dejected for a while. At last he re-commenced it, but, Mrs. M. supposes, had not the patience to go through it again in the same painstaking way as before; and in this way she accounts, to a certain extent, for the abrupt character which it has. I once spoke of Mr. Montagu to Talfourd as a person whom I liked very much, when the author of ‘on’ said: ‘He is a humbug; he drinks no wine.’ Commend me to such humbugs!

Miss Martineau1 I see pretty often. She has been consistently kind to me; and though circumstances have made me somewhat independent of her civilities, yet I feel grateful to her, and am glad to confess that I owe to her several attentions. She is much attached to our country and to many in it, and would be grieved to hear that her friends had fallen off from her. It was her misfortune to be so situated as to feel obliged to write a book.2 I doubt if a person who has mingled in society in any country can write a book in the spirit of truth without giving great offence. That she wrote hers influenced only by a love of truth, I am persuaded. I have seen and heard nothing in London which should shake the confidence of any of her friends in her; and I say it without making allusions to persons or things, because I have understood that some reports to the contrary have reached America. You may take my authority for what it is worth. I will only add that I have often conversed with her about America and Americans. Her novel called ‘Deerbrook’ is nearly finished. It is entirely fiction. She seems to have great confidence in it, and esteems it her best production. If it is successful, she will become a novelist.

You will doubtless read the last ‘Tait's Magazine.’ It contains the first of a series of articles by De Quincey on Wordsworth. Poor De Quincey had a small fortune of eight or nine thousand pounds, which he has lost or spent; and now he lets his pen for hire. You know his article on Coleridge: Wordsworth's turn has now come. At the close of his article, he alludes to a killing neglect which he once received from the poet, and which embittered his peace. I know the facts, which are not given. De Quincey married some humble country-girl in the neighborhood of Wordsworth; she was of good character, but not of that rank in which W. moved. The family of the latter never made her acquaintance or showed her any civilities, though

1 1802-76. Sumner visited Miss Martineau at Ambleside in 1857. She became quite impatient in later life with him and with all who maintained, as he did, the liability of England for the escape of the rebel cruisers in our civil war,—a liability which was found to exist by the award at Geneva.

2 ‘Society in America,’ published in 1837, and ‘Retrospect of Western Travel,’ published in 1838.

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