April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 6 June 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440606-TC-JF-01; CL 18: 59-60


Chelsea, 6 june 1844—

Dear Forster,

I truly love Dickens; and discern in the inner man of him a tone of real Music, which struggles to express itself as it may, in these bewildered stupified, and indeed very empty and distracted days,—better or worse! This, which makes him in my estimation one of a thousand, I could with great joy and freedom testify to all persons, to himself first of all, in any good way. But by dinner,—at Greenwich,—in the dog-days,—under Lord Mahogany,—by leg-of-mutton eloquence:1 alas, my soul dies away at the idea; exclaims, Quae nunc abibis in loco!2 I pray you have me excused.

There is not the slightest vestige of that Paper in any of my Somers Volumes:3 Sunday gone a week I spent in a state of great excitement, diving for it up to the elbows and deeper amid old dusty paperboxes,—likewise in vain. Did it ever exist? Or was it, after all, only, like that tremendous outburst of popular enthusiasm, a dream of the humane mind?

The Lord love you.

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle