The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 3 May 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400503-TC-JF-01; CL 12: 131-132


Chelsea, 3 May, 1840—

My dear Sir,

By all means engage this cheapest of Reporters,1 and bind him down firmly to attend and work; six guineas surely will be worth laying out for his shadow of us, do what we like with it!

Fraser had spoken with another Reporter, who however made but a vague undertaking to give “substance of the lecture,” “salient points” &c; I write now to Fraser that he shall revoke even that vague undertaking, that we will depend on this man of yours. I enclose a Ticket for him; there is no Prospectus here: but pray send him your own, and get another from Fraser. I leave it all with you.

Christie seemed to understand that he had given you entire command over his stock of Circulars and Library ware; and the fact, it seems, is that you remain like myself entirely extra muros [outside the walls], destitute even of one circular! I have written to Christie that he must communicate with you straightway. I believe he will shew face somewhere among us tomorrow or next day. He is busy with his Library Article for the Westr Review.2 When is the fire to be opened in the Chronicle, in the &c &c? When are we to begin advertising? When are we to—O Heaven, nobody came but Craik and I to Committee yesterday; we could not make a quorum, could only leave a card! Do you know if Fitzgerald actually has distributed those 2,000; or even if he is actually doing it? The beautifullest promises will avail nothing at all; Pusey's hard guineas will be as light fairy-money, and all our trouble to no purpose, unless they be actually distributed those 2,000 Prospectuses,—stuck, in real physical fact, into the fists of 2,000 individuals of the human species! I wish you would look after that too.

Fraser has had out the Miscellany Book almost a week now;—yet I doubt has still sent you no copy? A crack of the whip shall awaken him this day. If before Tuesday morning you do not see the Book lying visible on your table, fancy that there is something rotten in the State of Denmark,3 and pray do me the kindness to send a hint of it swiftly over hither!

I have ridden like a Hector, subduer of horses:4 yesterday morning I galloped round by Highgate and Hampstead before breakfast. It helps not; I seem sicker than ever! If the prayers of the wicked availed anything, I would solicit—Ah me!5

Yours in boundless haste /

T. Carlyle