1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN FORSTER; 1 May 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550501-TC-JF-01; CL 29: 302-303


Chelsea, 1 May, 1855—

Dear Forster,

I have not been idle in the poor Lowe case; tho' I have shuddered much to draw up anything in the Memorial way,—having indeed no spunk in me at all for writing anything; and not so much as paper or pen, that is not more or less intolerable to me, in these bad times. All a Balaklava, my friend; all a Balaklava;— and coming to a horrible reckoning (I apprehend now) before it be much older!

Here however is a thing, off my hands at last, capable of being manufactured into what will perhaps do.1— I get varieties of counsel as to whether the matter shd be kept absolutely private till Palmerston have been applied to, or should be made public, and blown into some popularity, as the only sure method of acting on Palmerston. That scrawl shews some trace of wavering between those two opinions, I rather fear. Consider—it and them; and then let us meet,—Athenaeum, half past 4, any day, without either meat or drink, for I am far below all that in the days that now run!— If published in the Examiner, all these Letters &c &c from Boswell2 should be stuck into it in extenso; and in that way it might serve there too.— But in fact you must think of it, you; and, if you are a charitable man, deliver poor lame me from the pressure of it!

Several official people of the Governing classes advise the Application (with Literary Signatures) to Palmerston,3—tho' when I ask them, “How wd your Lordship bet as to the result?” the answer is not so encouraging.— However, I believe I have actually got from the Bishop of Oxford4 (on merely mentioning the case) an annuity of £10 for the joint lives of these two poor women. Some “Almoner” or other fund he has, in whh there was a vacancy. I earnestly hope there will be no mistake!—tho' I have not heard that it is yet completed.— Remember always that fact, in behalf of the Rt Revd gentn in question, whatever else he may do.

Adieu, dear Forster / Ever yours (with any kind of pen)

T. Carlyle