The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 15 July 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530715-TC-JF-01; CL 28: 205


Chelsea, 15 july, 1853—

Dear Forster,

Send me word again how you are;—and let it be, that you are better, like a good fellow! I am alone here, these two weeks, and lead the most secluded, abstruse, silent and indescribable life; intent on burning off great quantities of rubbish and excrescence which has grown upon me dreadfully (to the length almost of total burying-alive) in late times. Which is not a joyful operation, I can assure you!

My Wife is in Scotland; will continue some weeks if she find it profit: at Moffat, Scotsbrig, &c, with what kindred she and I have still left in those parts. I myself say nothing of leaving Town; indeed, privately, I scheme not to do it at all,—unless burnt out by summer droughts and blazing sun; of which there surely is no immediate prospect hitherto! If the Town were once what they call “empty,”—free of plush and roaring wheels, not to speak of the immense masses of stupidity that must also go,—it will be one of the best discoverable places for study, for the burning of excrescences (proud-flesh, among the number, alas!); and one may perhaps do a little good again after all. Heaven grant it; Heaven help us to compel it!—

I am not equal to the least attempt at dinner (being really very unwell in body withal); but do mean and wish to attend you at tea some night, either in L.I.F.1 or on your Hilltop (of which give me the address again),2—the former by preference:—so pray tell me what possibilities there still are.

From the prophetic Delia Bacon, I heard thanks for your Payne-Collier Note (which was to be gratefully used by and by);3 and have not heard a whisper since. Which is not extremely unfortunate for me; the prophetic Delia being somewhat lengthy, I guess!

On the whole, dear Forster, tell me how you are,—punctually,—and know me always for one of the many anxious about you, and well affected towards such a British Subject as you have shewn yourself to us. And Heart up, my brave fellow! The longest lane has a turning in it.

Yours always, dear F. /

T. Carlyle