April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO JAMES BOOTH; 18 December 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18481218-TC-JBO-01; CL 23: 181-182


Chelsea, 18 Decr, 1848—

Dear Booth,

For a long time I have been quite delivered from the plague of Special Juries, and had quite forgotten my old sufferings in that respect:1 but here, tonight, has come a new kind of Summons to something they call “County Court” for Chelsea and Brompton, which is to meet in “Sloane Street,” where seemingly I am to serve as common Juror “under penalty of £5.”— For Heaven's sake, tell me what this new scourge of Satan means with me;—in particular, whether they will actually inflict the £5 fine if I do not go, or whether it is merely (as in the Special-Jury case) a vague threatening of fine, which may or may not be inflicted? In the latter case I will run my risk (as I have often already done); in the former I believe I had better resolve to go, detestable as the operation is. May the gods soon end “Trial by Jury,” say I, for one! In no Law Court was I ever, nor intend ever to go into one; and is it thus that I must be badgered, all my days, with their— — But I will not swear about it! Pray tell me is the fine meant to be certainly inflicted or not?

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle