January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 22 January 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560122-TC-JF-01; CL 31: 10-11


Chelsea, 22 jany 1856—

Dear Forster,

Brydges the Actuary answers me, this morning, that he cannot “be ready with his conclusive responses on Wednesday night,” but requests that I will give him till Friday night.1— So that our meeting at the Athenaeum, if it is to be conclusive and practical, must stand over till Saturday instead of Thursday,—as you once gave me the choice. I hope there is still no hindrance on your side. In whh case, no writing; it shall be settled so, if you say nothing. Saturday at 5 ½ p.m. in the big upper room; dinner (after business) in the low do,—or rather a couple of dinners; each his own mutton chop and thimbleful of liquor: needful dietetic morsels eaten in concert; for truly I am not up to more at present.

This morning there came £20 for the Lowes;2 a subscriptn long due; probably the last we shall get. Pray bring the exact cipher of money got: we shall then be able both to settle at once what is to be done with the cash gathered, and how and at what dates or by what stages we are to withdraw ourselves from the gaze of a discerning public,—the proceedings of which fill me (I must say) with more and more reverence, the longer I live. Oh Forster, look at George Paxton,3 Lord Palmerston,4 the Sultans both of Paris and Stamboul,5 and other similar phenomena; and confess with me, and the Ayrshire weaver, that “the powers of the human mind are unlimited,”6 or nearly so!

Yours ever, in any case /

T. Carlyle