The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JAMES SPEDDING ; 13 May 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520513-TC-JS-01; CL 27: 115-116


Chelsea, 13 May, 1852—

Dear Spedding,—I am well pleased to hear of your Candidate Donne:1 I wish you could recommend him to Gladstone, and turn the heart of that Senacherib2 from plundering the people of the Lord! He, Gladstone, I hear, reappeared suddenly, after 10 years absence, in the Committee, on Saturday last; and has resolved to bring in some interesting young Neapolitan gentleman, much out of funds at present; and it is asserted farther, such is the present composition of the Com̅ee, he is sure of a majority there for whatever his fixed pleasure is; and that in short there is “not the least possibility” (such was the phrase) of hindering him from marching in this young Neapolitan over the belly of whatever opposes him.— To the rescue! To the rescue! I myself am utterly on my beam-ends, masts cut by the board (under Influenza, fell Horror), this week past, and cannot stir from the spot; in fact, can do nothing, hardly even pray.

Your Donne wd rank with me as probably the eligiblest we have yet heard of,—certainly of all except one,3—were it not that he has a second employment, and means to do the two together; “which doth give a sore mien” (as Oliver has it)4 to the figure he presents! But of all the other five or six, who at least are English and know the ways of London, I believe there is not one but wd be found eligibler than that Neapolitan benefactor. One cheer more for him, at any rate!

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle