October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 15 July 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570715-TC-JF-01; CL 32: 185-186


Chelsea, 15 july, 1857—

Dear Forster,

Your benevolent project has plenty of charms; and it [has]1 “engagements” that wd give me pause; for I have none, nor have had any (beyond the date of next post-delivery) for many months past. But the Printer's Papers; the Nervous System,—alas, my Friend, you do not consider the nature of the Nervous System in subjects like poor me!

This is the state of the facts: 1o. My Wife went away to Scotland a week ago, and is now in Haddington, flourishing;—would I were so! 2o. I am up to the chin in sybiline paper-clippings; and have quitted all regular military studies for the present; being too busy with other portions of this my unblessed Problem. 3o. I decidedly like Sir De Lacy, and remember with pleasure a meeting there once already was at Macready's long ago.2 But— 4o. I am the most dyspeptic creature, and one of the busiest, at present in existence,—with hardly any strength left, even on the best terms.

If out of these four facts you can draw any conclusion but a sad negative one, you will surprise!

I write sub dio [in the open air] (literally), on the green of the little Garden; and all the light is gone from this balmy summer sky,—and the world is left to darkness and to me.3

Yours ever (by grope),

T. Carlyle