April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO THOMAS WATTS; 6 February 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490206-TC-TW-01; CL 23: 227-228


Chelsea, 6 feby 1848 [1849]—

My dear Sir,

Many sincere thanks for your strenuous inquiry, and victorious discovery, concerning the “Young Baron” Wharton!1 It is a real spark of luminous matter added to the great Night of British History;—one small item truly worth remembering amid the boundless continents of dark rubbish which men keep jumbling to and fro, and pretending to remember; and which they had better at once honestly forget, there being in them, except for Pedant and Dryasdust purposes, nothing that is, or can be made, intrinsically memorable. I have secured the little Note; and its illumination, true so far as it goes, may shine henceforth. Many thanks to you.

We will not disturb ourselves with Bear Park any further; indeed I suspect Lilburn never lived there; and must have got but a slender account of rents themselves, during those troublous ten years.

I had heard of the Pamphlet about the old Newspaper;2 but never saw it, and did not know it was by you. I should like very well to read it, if you have still a copy to lend.— I know not what degree of fraud you have clearly brought home to Birch; but should, unless the facts peremptorily forbade, tend strongly to consider him, poor ditch-water soul, as rather the dupe than the cheat in any case of hoax. His “Hammond Letters,” at all events, seem to me, for many reasons, to be quite out of the range of suspicion.3

Send me Pamphlet, if you have it; and believe me,

Yours with many thanks

T. Carlyle