July-December 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 30


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 6 December 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18551206-TC-JF-01; CL 30: 136-137


Chelsea, 6 decr, 1855—

Dear Forster,

Here is Ruskin's Answer:1 he does not give us the money all at once, but makes the Annual £5 sure (during his life at least), and even permits us to announce it in good time: really that is about the same thing, and we ought to be content with it. I have told him you were to have charge of making it known to the Public “in the way most advantageous and least obtrusive.” Perhaps you had better for the present say nothing, or nothing arithmetical, about it; but merely fire off your Subscription Lists in the way he talked of?2

Here also is an Answer from Brydges3 the Actuary (Mitre Office Pall Mall), who not only promises me a visit this evening, but will treat his poor wife to a sight of the monster, too! However, he is a very obliging honest creature, and ready to calculate &c to all lengths. The Price of a £20 Annuity is very decidedly cheaper than I had expected; but I fear the ages are not quite 78 and 73, in our case, but perhaps 76 and 72.— I suppose I may now invite Brydges to go over to Deptford, and obtain the necessary evidence of the exact ages, with a view to offering us an Estimate on the matter. The Bargain (with him or another) will follow as the last finish of the business. My belief is, we shall still, by one method or other, manage about £25 annuity;4 which, with Ruskin's five pounds, will be the problem we set. And then, and then—Oh my gallant Friend!

I also send the Note for Browning; about which (in spite of the date written on it) there is no manner of hurry.5

And so farewell, dear Forster; and go to your work again, as I do to mine,—and let there be forgivenness all round, and everybody beat his hemp6 in a loyal manner!

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle