The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 11 April 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530411-TC-JF-01; CL 28: 104-105


Chelsea, 11 April, 1853—

Dear Forster,

I came home a week ago; but have been rather weakly, and very busy (alas, with little!) ever since. We thought of coming to you on Friday night; but recollected it was your Examiner night. Pray send us a word how you are; and appoint some evening for tea: my Wife, too, to come if she can.

I am up to the lips in German literary dung: a strange grubbing g[r]ovelling1 Blockhead (one Vehse, whom I saw at Dresden, and did not suspect of such faculty) has gathered into a heap all the scandals, ordures and extravagances, real and rumoured, of English Court-society since the time the Guelfs came in;2 a man of no judgement, but of much industry in this cesspool department, a serious snuffy drudging Gibeonite of a man;3—and you cannot think what an impression all this leaves when surveyed rapidly in one huge mass, what unutterable reflexions and inquiries it gives rise to! I have done with the Book now, thank God; but not with my meditations on it: the subject is very near for every one of us.

That was a capital article on Smith, the new “Poet” they have discovered!4 I have been bothered occasionally with the name of him in late months; may the poor hungry young man soon mend himself or else disappear;—in his present course he seems to be but proclaiming, in an eloquent manner, that his stomach is bottomless; and to be galloping (to the astonishment of certain turnpikemen) towards no good goal! I, for my own solitary share, am inexpressibly wearied of all that; and daily address silent prayers to Heaven on the subject.— Adieu dear F.

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle