July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 5 March 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480305-TC-JF-01; CL 22: 260-261


Chelsea, 5 March, 1848—

Dear Forster,—Unquestionably you must cut out those paragraphs: did I not already tell you to cut out whatsoever thing you liked?1 I care not a straw for the whole rubbish in the lump.

I see well, by Fonblanque and by all manner of British Editors at present, those paragraphs wd involve you in a controversy, which is literally as deep as the world,—which hangs too on the verge of Owenism, Chartism, and all manner of ignominious abysses and cloacas, and ought not to be inconsiderately begun.2 Begun it must be, I do well believe, and even ended too (some centuries hence!); nay I believe all “reform” so-called and “revolutions,” and such like, which does not take this along with it, as the one basis it has to rest on, is Girondism, and Cobdenism and George-Groteism, smitten with eternal barrenness, and to a certain extent accursed of Gods and men!3 Such has long been my fixed faith. But alas, I see well, before it can become the world's faith, the world will need to be cleared of “Ballot-box questions,” “Slavery and Antislavery questions,” and whole oceans and continents of “Constitutional” and other twaddle,—and become a world of men, in some measure, not a world of canting chattering “constitutional” apes;—which, I calculate will cost the world, and me, and the Hôtel-de-Ville people,4 a considerable degree of trouble first!— —

Alas, for the scrap of paper I have begun upon,—half a sheet, not a whole one, or whole quire of sheets!— Cut out, I again say all manner of things, do;—and come on Thursday, and we will talk it all over. Yours ever

[signature cut away]

I dimly remember a thing about war with Russia, too, which will require to be softened or cut out.5 You did it right at the end of Fonblanque's article. Refer to that, and say “we could fancy,” or so.