April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO JOHN FORSTER; 10 October 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18481010-TC-JF-01; CL 23: 130-131


Chelsea, 10 Octr, 1848—

Dear Forster,

You must give me a meeting, at your domicile, some day this week,—any day and hour before Saturday Noon. I want to consult you about “new books,” and to borrow some new books from you, of an eligible quality. “Eligible” for a Country drawingroom and its donothing elegants, partridge-shooting parliamenteers, and others such;—not for myself, Heavens, no! But I am bound by a kind of duty to do the best I can in this poor service, and you must help me.

We returned on Thursday Evg last,1 quite sated with the Country and its amusements; we dimly understand you too to be rusticating, perhaps about Wilsden or Neasdon,2 except upon field days. Shortly I shall know better; and, if it please the pigs, we shall have some free exchange of news before long.— Will you gather out those Squire Papers for me agt my coming; and add to them the “Article” rubbish,3 that I may purify my place by fire, and endeavour again to start, at least on clear ground. This peccant matter, I believe, will have to come out as a Book; for I dare not undertake at present to get upon an inverted tub, and preach to the populace, in its (and my) actual bewildered condition. The poor blockheads know little what is coming upon them from the justly angry gods! They will go on trafficking and babbling, marrying and giving in marriage4 till (as once formerly) the Noah's Deluge come suddenly, and end their little Russell and them.— Basta [Enough]!

One of the Books I must have on my own account is that former Copy of Goldsmith, which you admitted was at any rate mine.

Heaven love you. I am full of confusions here,—as indeed the lot of a Son of Adam is. My Wife salutes you, in hope of soon meeting, mutually improved by fresh air.

Yours, dear Forster, / With real regard

T. Carlyle