The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JOHN CHILDS ; 26 May 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520526-TC-JCHI-01; CL 27: 122-123


Chelsea, 26 May, 1852—

My dear Sir,

I received your two Notes, with the Osborne literature on cheap bread;1 and was very glad to hear of you again. Unluckily just in those days I had caught a despicable fit of Influenza, which quite put a negative on any writing, the shortest Note costing me a headache: we have since been in the country for a week, back only yesterday; and tho' the special disease appears to be gone, there remains a degree of feebleness, laziness, and general torpor, which is still much in my way, and of which I can only hope to get rid by the aid of assiduous precautions and exertions continued for some length of time. Writing, especially, is still a thing that I avoid as much as may be. Indeed all labour whatsoever is unusually irksome to me.

I got Fitzgeral's two little Books;2 which please me very well in their kind. Of our new Hebrew Chancellor of the Exchequer3 I say nothing, and think as little as may be. This new triumph of the Art of wagging the Tongue is the highest yet achieved in this realm of Britain, and seems to me to mark an epoch in our destinies, little comfortable to the patriotic mind. This Jew is made of tough material; and may probably enough carry it far yet, if he live. But a Parliament that hitches up dead dogs to the top of it, if they can but talk, what is to become of such Parliament, and of the Country that depends on it! Given a dead dog, is he not doubly damnable and malodorous because he can withal talk! He ought at least to be silent, the scandalous carrion, having no wisdom, nobleness, or life of any kind, but only the sad reverse of all that, to impart to his bewildered fellow creatures, God help them and him! I for one propose to have no trade with him or his affairs, unless they mend miraculously.

Let us see you when you come to Town; and bid the Dr4 call on us again, as he promised. Yours always truly

T. Carlyle