July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 31 December 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471231-TC-JF-01; CL 22: 193-194


Chelsea, 31 decr, 1847—

Dear Forster,—Thanks for your Clippings. It is the first I have seen of such lucubrations; which, I understand, are going on, in the Athenaeum and elsewhere, as well as generally in certain idle circles of society, at a considerable rate. If you fall in with any more such stuff in your Newspaper,1 pray take the scissors again, and send it me. The solution of the whole matter is, That my “Unknown Correspondent,”2 a man of perfect veracity, is also a man of the profoundest ignorance, and half-mad to boot; which, as he has to read it, is a thing somewhat unhandy for me to write and print! On the whole, I do not see that, on any compulsion such as has yet manifested itself or is like to manifest itself, I can write or print any word farther on this small subject; but I have some purpose, if the noise do not abate, to transmit all these Paper-clippings silently some day to my “Unknown Correspondent”; which, I calculate, may very possibly bring him straight up to Town with a big oak stick in his hand, and a terrible question or two, accompanied with raps on the floor, to certain Able Editors! Never in my life did I see a more foolish business

On this last day of the Year, let me send you our united good-wishes; may '48 not be worse than his predecessors, but far better, if we can manage it! To look back and look forward, makes a man very serious on such a day.—— Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle