October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 23 March 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460323-TC-JF-01; CL 20: 150-151


Chelsea, 22 [23] March, 1846

Dear Forster,

Tomorrow you will receive a Printed Specimen of Newspaper Reviewing from a certain young Mr Espinasse of my acquaintance;1 and next day your charity is to be so far drawn upon as to receive, for a few minutes, if you can, the young man himself. Pray do not grudge him; do him a little good, poor fellow, if you can!

You already guess he wants to be employed in that kind of business; in any kind of literary business he may seem fit for. Of his fitness in that particular I can say nothing; but will testify freely that he is an honest-hearted, ingenious and ingenuous young man; knows German, and all manner of Edinburgh knowledges and tongues; has lived three years here, under Panizzi's wing, from which he has at last broken loose,—being, as you will see, of a shy proud temper, not without affections, not without indignations:—in short he seems a good young man; fit, one would say, for various kinds of work; and certainly very eager to try!2 Pray say a wise word to him[;] you can throw some light on his path, which doubtless is abstruse enough at present: for my sake be kind to him if you have any outlook of help; at all events, be candid, and severe as Rhadamanthus,3 if you have none. Like a charitable man as you are.

I have nearly ended this unspeakable Second Edition: no such job ever came my way in this world before. A transcendent species of Cobbling; no higher craft! To which one is not altogether bred. I shall remember it while I live.4

My Wife has mainly quitted me for four weeks to come; went on Saturday last, to Addiscombe in the Croydon region, to the people we were with in Hampshire;—is to come and go, while I continue a bachelor here. Up to the chin in Paper-clippings, and not very far from distracted

Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle

If you have a Copy of Dickens's Pamphlet on Capital Punishments,5 send it by Espinasse, and I will read it. That will be a sad affair, I think, by and by!