The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 17 September 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400917-TC-JF-01; CL 12: 261


Chelsea, 17 Septr, 1840—

Dear Forster,

These Books have lain above six weeks, with a string tied around them,—waiting till some household Fairy, “Lubber Fiend [benevolent goblin]” Brownie, or other miraculous Agency would wrap them up as a Parcel, and carry them across the street! I had hope also of getting some Carriage that might chance to be driving your way.— At length, neither Carriage nor Brownie making its appearance in such dignus vindice nodus [difficulty calling for someone to intervene], I take packthread and old newspapers resolutely myself; and here are your Books back again with many thanks. Forgive my laziness. “It is not a passion,” says the Frenchman, “but it has strength enough to conquer all passions that dwell in man.”1

I mean to break in upon you soon; and bring away a new great stock of Puritan books. You have Noble's Cromwell, have you not? Baillie's Letters, I am afraid, are undiscoverable.2

I have written all my Lectures out; but whether to print them, to burn them, or let them lie tied in tape, is a question.

A German called Heintze has sent me a volume of Burns's Songs translated by him. Do you know any good reader of German that would review it in the Examiner?3 It is not badly done. They have four translations of Burns, it seems, this summer, in Germany. It never rains but it pours!

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle