August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


TC TO RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES ; 6 October 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18421006-TC-RMM-01; CL 15: 117-118


Chelsea, 6 Octr, 1842—

Dear Milnes,

Here is a new magnanimous Essay of Emerson's; which an Able Editor, of his own accord, has reprinted in Lancashire.1 Pray read, and mark,—and consider, for one thing, what a business Corn-Laws are, and bounties to the Idle, the chief criminals on this Earth at present!——— ——— I understand, it is upon this Essay that the “leguminous Philosopher”2 bases himself; saying, “Behold! Let us take our spades, therefore, and become Potatoe Quixotes!”— When you have done with the Paper, can you send it to Cameron at Wakefield?3

Spedding was here last Sunday, his ears still ringing with Niagara; his heart in peace towards Yankees and all men. He is gone to the North yesterday.

Did you ever so much as fairly visit the Field of Marston-Moor Battle? Does anybody know precisely the spot; are there any graves left, any &c &c? All is ploughed, changed and torn to pieces now, I suppose. Yet I wish I had gone to look, when so near it with you.4 A certain Fitzgerald, whom perhaps you knew at Cambridge,5 has been at my request investigating, in the most decisive and successful style, the Field of Naseby, which is now his Father's property: the whole Battle lives again for one there, auf altem Grund und Boden [on the old ground and soil]; very strange indeed! Cannot you too read the Rushworths,6 the &c, and go to Marston, or get some competent seer and searcher to go?— I have been in Ely, in St Ives and Huntingdon, since I saw you: The edacious Earth devours all things,7—even the memories of her greatest men. I said to myself, finding Cromwell gone to such an absurd sleepy Fable among his own people there, “What, in two centuries, will become of all manner of Pitts and Peels!” IMortality?8 Ach Gott!

The good Harriet Martineau seems to have been raised to the third heaven or higher by your visit to her: that was well done.

As for me, I solicit your prayers; and need them; I am swimming as in reedy Ouse streams,9 bottomless quagmires, hardly the nose visible; and shall apparently be sunk and out of pain by & by.10 The review of Tennyson is worthy of all acceptation;11 that “R. M. M.” is a truehearted man, I do think, and has eyes in his head.— Well; adieu, adieu, and let me sink in the Ouse! Yours ever

T. C.