January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 17 May 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420517-TC-JF-01; CL 14: 188-189


Chelsea, Tuesday [17 May 1842]

Dear Forster,

Thanks for your Longman activities:1 we shall wait very patiently till the decision mature itself. One way or other I find that I must before long rid myself of that esteemed Oliver, who with his adjuncts is really threatening to burn holes in me now: such is the lot of “inarticulate genius” in this sublunary sphere;—it must either contrive to speak itself, or give up gasping, and altogether hold its jaw!—

I am very glad of Dickens's word: a happy voyage home, to one of the cheeriest truest-hearted we have under the Sun at present.2

The brave Macready is the first that sends hither any hue of coin for the Sister of Burns: £5 for himself; £4.15.6 from his children and women. Euge!— There is some dim scheme of a pension for the poor Widow; which may the gods guide aright.

Today I have to go and settle with Chapman and Hall.3 On Thursday if I can get so far as L. I. F.,4 yes. But I am engaged for that night; and my walking faculties in this weather are limited. You are to be at Macready's on Sunday night?5 If I do not come on Thursday I will write: but it will b[e] better to come—sluggard that I am!

The Quarterly Review is finished here; and the Edinburgh,—except that I set my Wife on reading one of those Macaulay things, as actually worth reading.6 The Quarterly this time is next to unbearable: “Divines of the Seventeenth Century”7 is really as odious, at once hateful and despicable, as—I do not say a ghost—but a ghost of Cock-lane;8 which only pretends to be a ghost! A curse on it.

We are in our usual way here, my poor Wife still very feeble I still very idle. God help us!— Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle