October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 7 December 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451207-TC-JF-01; CL 20: 74-75


Bay House, 7 Decr, 1845.

Dear Forster,

You are very kind and mindful.1 I pray you do not think I expect my friends to review me when I write Books: that seems to me a most unreasonable requisition upon friends! But since you have voluntarily been so beneficent, certainly I will accept it as a bounty from the Heavens and you, whatever you may say of me;—and to complete the matter, let me ask this other favour: A Copy of next Examiner, a Saturday's-Post Copy, directed hither; that there may be no delay about it. Our own copy for the last two weeks goes direct into Scotland to my Mother; and in this house, precisely at the same time (the wrong time for us) they have discontinued the Paper,—being tired of its abuse of Peel, I suppose. Mind therefore: By the Saturday's Post. As you value the approbation of the female mind, not to speak of my own!—

We are leading a peculiar life here on these mild costs: kind elegant people; the beautifullest December weather I ever saw; a beautiful House, beautiful sea, and Isle of Wight with its ships and towns: all very “beautiful”; but amounting to the most perfect state of Donothingism the mind of man could well conceive! That is the drawback of it: alas, you cannot do hard work and be quite beautiful; labour, says the Apostle, is not joyous, it is grievous!2 On the whole, I suppose one's conscience, if nothing else, will send one home, with the tear in one's eye, before long. You shall hear of us then.

If you see Dickens, tell him I had his Note yesterday; and was very glad indeed that he had written to the brave Bamford; which I had silently hoped that he would do.— You also, I suppose, are deep in this new Enterprise?3 Clear aim and right good speed to it and you! As for me, I am totally annihilated at present; good for nothing at all but smoking tobacco, and sitting silent on the shingle amid the furze-bushes here.

Good b'ye dear Forster

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle