The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 28 May 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520528-TC-JF-01; CL 27: 125-126


Chelsea, 28 May, 1852—

Dear Forster,

We are shocked at this long imprisonment, coming on now, under these dreary circumstances, to three weeks or therby!1 Lamed, hand and foot, and thrown prostrate under the flail: it is really altogether miserable. Patience, patience: that is but a sad remedy, and yet it is the only one, as would appear. However, it is certain too there is a turn to the longest lane; and every weary day brings us nearer to the same. Don't lose heart; and let us hope now you are very near the end of this bad business.

I myself have been very ill since you saw me: vile influenza, with two relapses, each bringing me much deeper into the slough; utter weakness, comparable to that of a water-wagtail;—in fine we were obliged to fly into the country, and apply to quinine and the Hippocratica [medical authorities]; came back three days ago, after a week; the disease gone, but the weakness, the transcendent laziness, only going, and that quite at its leisure. I have not yet been able to get farther than Hyde Park and home in an omnibus; whether I shall see the Committee tomorrow is very uncertain, especially as all talk withal is very noxious to me: I spent many headaches writing about that Gladstone foray; but as that seems now to be extinguished, my continued absence is of less moment. With 250 native Candidates of such a character, it will not be possible to march a miniature Panizzi over the necks of mankind in that way! Whether Helps is in Town or not I do not know.

Dear Forster, the first day I am able to move so far (which surely will be soon now), you may expect to hear my knock in L. I.2 Fields,—would I could bring febrifuge with me and rheumatifuge of an effectual kind.3 My Wife, in the enthusiasm of the moment, decides that she will go and visit the poor sick prisoner; she, whatever I may be able to do. There is a certain sublimity in the female character,—so far as aspiration goes.— Adieu, dear Forster; I hope to see you before very many hours go, and to hear that you are looking towards enfranchisement again. Yours always truly

T. Carlyle