The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 11 December 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18401211-TC-JF-01; CL 12: 361-362


Chelsea, 11 Decr, 1840—

Dear Forster,

If you have May's History of the Long Parliament, and could leave it at Fraser's for me—?— I find May is a man of real talent, and the word he speaks has meaning in it; one of the rarest cases in these frightful Books! If you could add d'Israeli's Charles First too,1 or what part of it you have at hand, I would try that.

I have read Godwin:2 faithful, but dead as iron. Have you Wordsworth's piece on the Eikon Basilike?3 It matters little. I have read the Eikon itself; and pronounce it one of the hatefullest pieces of Phariseeism ever put on paper; no more written by Charles I than by me; written evidently under the purest shadow of the Shovel-hat, by a Protestant Jesuit, worthy to be made Bishop of Souls by such a Defender of the Faith as Charles Second! Ah me, that side of English things is very scandalous; deserved well to have its crown cracked by a brave Cromwell; deserves still to have itself flung into the Thames some day by some other brave man. Patience, and shuffle the cards!

We are right sorry for the sorrows of the Macreadies. My Wife was there yesterday. There seemed no hope of the poor child.4 It is a frightful occupation that of the Father's at such a time.

I have meant to call for you, many a time of late; but always before I get myself gathered, the safe hour is gone. We here are at home nearly every night and day!

Have you the Illustrated Cromwelliana?5 I have found some few Portraits in the Museum and heard of more.— Enough—

Yours always /

T. Carlyle