The Collected Letters, Volume 11


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 28 February 1839; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18390228-TC-JF-01; CL 11: 36-37


[28? February 1839]

Here, after all, is a Petition,1 since you have set me on it; of a very wonderful nature; for which you are responsible!

I find it impossible to write gravely on such a subject;2 demonstrating the tenth-part of a truism, against stolidities without a name. It is like the emptying of an over-crowded church; no person can get out because there are so many persons in. I say always with the Frenchman, “There are stupidities at which one pauses, struck silent, as at first sight of the Infinite.”3

What you are to do with this Petition you and Mr Sergeant Talfourd must determine.4 This Petition also I hold to be true, to be part of the truth; but the other (which I hope is still discoverable some where) was the truth and the whole truth according to my sense of it.

I look for you on Saturday as appointed.

Believe me always / Yours faithfully

T. Carlyle—