October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO J. G. MARSHALL ; 20 April 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570420-TC-JGM-01; CL 32: 129-130


Chelsea, 20 April, 1857—

Dear Marshall,

I hear there are now some Fifty-two Candidates for that office in the London Library,—not one of whom, as I judge from former experience in such affairs, probably possesses the least real knowledge of “Bibliography,” which is his essential business there. At any rate, anticipating such result, and being otherwise immeasurably busy in this my own garret, I have undertaken not to interfere at all in the “Election,” and shall most likely not be in the Committee at all till the unhopeful operation is quite over. This has been already my answer to five special applicants. Your friend1 will produce his evidences like the others; if he is in fact a “Bibliographer” at all, I shd think it wd give him a shining distinction: and otherwise, I believe the Committee are sincerely desirous to get what they think the fittest man, and will endeavor to do strict justice. I often wonder at the “Anglo-Saxon” methods you talk of; and the qualification that please the electors of said noble “Anglo-Saxons” to office. From the Archbishop of Canterbury “for saving souls,”2 down to Lord Raglan and Co. “for making War on Russia,”3 they are a sight to be seen under this sky at present. Our “London Librarian” will be liker his work, I should think, at worst than either of these!—

I heard of Forster's political movements. I guess he will yet be elected if he live;4 and may help, rather signally in some points, in speeding things whither they seemed bound at full gallop, so far as I can estimate, in the time that now is.

What my notions have slowly got to be about Anglo-Saxon “Liberty” &c &c, it is perhaps better for you that you do not know. They are not pleasant to myself, very far from it; nor am I interested to afflict my fellow-creatures with them farther in present circumstances. Being indeed nearly killed with “undoable labour” at present, in another departt.

I ride daily, to keep myself alive till the job be done. So soon as you come to Town, appear here at 3½ p.m., and we will have another ride together for auld Langsyne. I send many regards to the Lady.5 In fair weather as in foul (whh it now rather is, figuratively speaking[)], I am

Yours always truly, /

T. Carlyle