The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES ; 26 May 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400526-TC-RMM-01; CL 12: 153-154


Chelsea, 26 May, 1840—

Dear Milnes,

Your Note1 arrives at the moment when I was about writing to you, or coming to speak with you (had it not been for this rain), concerning our great Library Scheme;—which you, treasonably, deserted last Saturday;2 but must in no wise desert on Wednesday (tomorrow) at the same place and hour!

Come, and come with some program in your hand of what a Public Meeting ought to be, and can be, in the present state of matters as to this business. All able men are wanted; some able man is indispensible. We had got 150 names, 50 of them within the last week; scattered indications of all sorts were beginning to show themselves above ground in an altogether hopeful manner: it seemed manifest that the thing was extensively taking root; that if we could heat it by one good burst of sun-splendour, or artificial furnace flash-splendour, it would germinate straightway, and soon fill all Cockneydom with its boughs and leaves! Come, I say; and get up the natural-artificial caloric in a workmanlike manner!

Spedding was to speak to Lord Clarendon3 for President; failing whom you were to speak to Lord Northampton: some in the fervour of desperate zeal even proposed Lord Brougham. I went to Pusey yesterday; found him hopefully disposed; got his promise to attend on Wednesday, if some mysterious accident did not prevent. Forster's is No. 58, Lincoln's Inn Fields; the hour is half past two. You are actually bound to come;—and also to bring Fitzgerald and others; him above all. Is not his invisibility there, in the Carlton Ida, these two weeks, wellnigh inexcusable?4 Let him descend, with thunder in his right hand,—in the Devil's name!

As to Thursday,—I will tell you on Wednesday. I have got cold, I cannot sleep, I have to dine out tonight; I am fast becoming one of the wretchedest of men. Have you any pity? Not you.

Yours ever truly (unpitied)

T. Carlyle.

Cannot you bring Lord Eliot5 with you on Wednesday? Pusey says, he is strong for us