The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JAMES GARTH MARSHALL ; 21 December 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18411221-TC-JGM-01; CL 13: 325-326


Chelsea, 21 Decr, 1841

Dear Marshall,

Thanks for your care in sending me the new Millocrats:1 pray do not send me any more; I am sick of the unmusical braying, and must dismiss it,—the dissonant noise in proportion to the meaning is so enormous! We are in several respects the stupidest country in the whole civilized world at present.2 Alas, we are a people all of hearsays; there is not one man in a million that will open his eyes and look: if men did see with eyes, how many haggard nightmares, like to choke the life out of us, would straightway disappear, and not be,—as goblins and all imaginaries ought to do! Good will never come till many men be, what all men should be, men in earnest; that look with eyes instead of spectacles. It is frightful to observe, at Hustings, in Houses of Commons, in Pulpits, and indeed everywhere except in Mills and Workshops, how there is no naked-eye at all, and what sort of thing our old spectacles have now grown to be.

Two nights ago, Chadwick the Poor-Law Atropos,3 who nevertheless has good in him, sent me these fractions of Pamphlets about education; apparently some Appendix to some of his Poor-Law Reports. If you have not seen them they will interest you. A passage at p. 15 (in some Quaker's evidence) is to me like a beam of light: if it be really true that a man would not change his own set of workmen against another man's “for £7,000,”—then I say we have the beginning of a real Industrial Baronhood, the sure prophecy of such!4——— On the whole, were it not far better for you practical Reformers if you went first of all with exclusive energy upon Education; got all the people to demand in an imperative manner, “Educate us, we say educate us, or—!”

I have got a very notable Pamphlet on Pauperism by one Geijer the most distinguished writer in Sweden at present;—unfortunately very ill translated.5 I have thoughts of sending it to Dr Arnold and you, had I once done with it.6

Yours ever, /

T. Carlyle