August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JOHN FORSTER; 12 December 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18461212-TC-JF-01; CL 21:108-109.


Chelsea, 12 Decr, 1846—

Dear Forster,—If you have about you any new Books (Bulwer's last Novel, for example1) calculated to enliven the torpor of a sick—room,—Books that can be read with some shadow of amusement and with no shadow of labour,—I will ask you to send certain of them, by the Parcels Mail, on my poor Wife's behalf, who is close confined with a cold in these bad days. The cough is gone or nearly so; but she remains very weak, and tied to the strictest seclusion. Dombey we have;2 and almost nothing other in that department.— An Archdeacon, with his own venerable lips, repeated to me, the other night, a strange profane story: of a solemn Clergyman who had been administering ghostly consolation to a sick person (several years ago); having finished, satisfactorily as he thought, and got out of the room, he heard the sick person ejaculate: “Well, thank God, Pickwick will be out in ten days any way!”— — This is dreadful.3

I have a big Package of Books tied together here for you, so soon as I can muster resolution to wrap the Brown Paper round them—eheu! Perhaps somebody, with wheel-vehicle or otherwise, will come and take them, upapered!

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle

I have got a Shakespeare model from Jones;4 have decided that it ought to Berlin,5 and sent to him for Packing apparatus accordingly. Varnhagen and the Berlin Dilettanti, I have no doubt, will give three cheers over it. A really curious little Article; worth sending.—— I have also discovered a most superior bronze Bust of Oliver Cromwell; difft from all I have yet seen, old, and far beyond all; now in the possession of Dundas Solr General “left him by Ld Henley”:6 I am endeavouring to ascertain the anterior history of it;7 once authenticated, that might be another capital affair for Jones. As before, Eheu!