January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES ; 31 July 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420731-TC-RMM-01; CL 14: 245-246


Chelsea, 31 july, 1842—

Dear Milnes,

Here is Chambers's Letter in answer to our cash. I forward it chiefly because there seems yet to be no tidings of the Fifty-pound Donation; and a horrible suspicion crosses me that the illustrious Premier may have forgotten it! Pray do you in some good way, act as flapper on him;1 bring it again into his high head,—and dismiss it not altogether out of your own, till Chambers answer that he actually has and holds it!

Did you see the Yankee Alcot in search of a man? He eagerly grasped at my proposal to let him have a fly at you. The memory of Sumner2 was my warrant;—besides the intrinsic excellence of this Potato Quixote. Have you in your life seen any nobler Speciman? The Art of boring must surely be carried to the borders of the Infinite in the New Country! It is positively frightful. This Alcot, the last time he saw me, found Browning here, who quizzed him, at least who did not in the least admire either him or his vegetable Diet, or his Dial or his New Ideas;—whereupon Alcot parted in almost open wrath; and to my question, When shall I see you again? answered with piercing emphasis, with both mouth and nose, “Never, I guess!”— Ought not the Archbishop to introduce into his Liturgy [in] these times, the new words, From Yankee bores, Good Lord &c?3 If it would have the slightest imaginable effect!—

We are all empty since you went away; even Darwin departed this morning. It is a quiet as of an empty slaughterhouse; but still it is quiet. Ay de mi!

Well, you did a right proper thing this session, one at least: you got this pension for the poor old Sister of a Burns. Do you know any other person in that melancholy Bear-garden, who has done an undeniably universally and eternally good thing even of that magnitude?— My dear friend, I am positively very serious and very sad when I look at that House and at this England.

Adieu. Good be with you always.

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle