August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 6 September 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420906-TC-JF-01; CL 15: 69-70


Chelsea, Tuesday [6 September or 18 January 1842?]

Dear Forster,

Here is Cary;1 in the first volume of which you will find some saucy annotations here and there; in the second volume I ceased tracing out the reduplications of the poor Editor, tho' probably they are as abundant as in the first. He seems a man of modest character, of small knowledge, and not of great diligence. None of the Letters dwell at all vividly with me,—some scenes of Poyntz's2 about Pontefract3 are among the least misty: but alas the whole Book, Poyntz and all, is fast melting away into the general dim steamy immemorab[il]ity,4 which swallows nearly all my reading in that quarter,—announcing indeed too plainly that it is a quarter of which OBLIVION has taken legal seisin, which no man should or can contest with the almighty genius of OBLIVION, but let him have it with a blessing! He is gaping for us all, the scoundrel; no star of us but he will quench one day, and absorb in the quietest manner into his general steam-element;—many thanks to him, on the whole!

Today I am in the Cambridge Fens; a most delectable position in such weather. The gods alone know whether any Cromwell will ever be got out of me. The secret of him lies deep and ever deeper; deep in the foundations of the world. The man is not a quack; he rather seems to me a god: but how shall I ever convince you of that!

My Wife notes along with me that we leave you to fix the day next week yourself, and a legitimate dramar at the end of it. She is answering for herself; promising, I doubt not, to execute your commissions with impeccable correctness.5

And so Good speed; and Go ahead!

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle