April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO J. G. LOCKHART; 29 March 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490329-TC-JGL-01; CL 23: 261-262


Chelsea, 29 March, 1849—

Dear Lockhart,

Here are your Session Papers again, with many thanks to the Lord Peter and you. I had heard of Jeffrey's opinion on the same question, but do not find it here; perhaps he sits in some other “Division,” under some other kind of wig:1— May the Lord help them all,—and us all!

There will be required, I perceive, a very great deal more palaver before they get a real English Poor-Law2 passed for Scotland; but to that conclusion, if they should paint an inch thick,3 they will be obliged to come;—and even that (God knows!) will not stead them very long. Palaver has been loud very long; but Fact, in these times, is getting still louder,—loud as Cavaignac's cannon4 and the thunder of the gods! I confess I am not sorry that this brutish dogkennel is either to be cut off altogether or made more human a little.— Was not Peel's prophecy, the other week, a kind of gleam as of something like a dawn that would get above the horizon by and by?5 If there lay ten years more of life in that man, he might still do great things.

You will never more come to Chelsea; and at Sussex Place6 it is useless for me to call,—yet I will once again before long, in spite of the grim Fates. If you are in bed or abroad, your blood be on your own head!

Good be with you at any rate; I do salute you across these Arctic seas and their ice-floes; and am always, / Dear Lockhart, Yours sincerely

T. Carlyle