The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 6 October 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18401006-TC-JF-01; CL 12: 276-277


Chelsea, Tuesday [6 October 1840].

Dear Forster,

The wicker Phosphoros (Bringer of Light, namely of Books) has arrived; is unpacked; the Contents all set on shelves, and duly registered: for which new favour a thousand new thanks.

Pray do not disturb your Artist1 in the possession of his volumes: Whitlock &c,2 so far as essential, are attainable elsewhere; and in the meanwhile have I not reading here already for the next six months, or even six years!

Heylin's Life of Laud3 has nearly put an end to my intellectual existence. Witchcraft and Walpurgis4 is not madder: alas, in two short centuries to what issues do the Sons of Adam come! To me it seems in these hours as if the sooner all memory of Laud were abolished from the human brain, and all Book[s] about him burnt by Act of Parliament, and the sane solid world made rid to all eternity of such a distracted Crotchet, it were the better.——— A frightful bagpipe, or rather two bagpipes blown each by its begging Highland[er] forces me to conclude abruptly.

Ever yours (much afflicted),

T. Carlyle