April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JOHN STEILL; 10 April 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490410-TC-JST-01; CL 24: 18-19


Chelsea, 10 April, 1849—

Dear Sir,

I have read Sir George's Speech; and have this day returned it to him, with a little Note expressing the satisfaction I had enjoyed from it: this, which was the briefest method, you had intimated, would also be the agreeable one to that worthy Gentleman.

I hope you and he, and others of patriotic mind in Scotland, may soon accomplish something towards settlement of that huge Pauper question there; which truly is at present, like much else in Scotland, in a frightful predicament. I can remember when there needed no Poor-Law for Scotland; when there was properly no “Pauper” in it,—and the two or three poor destitute persons in a parish, known to all neighbours, and calling forth the pity and thrifty judicious charity of all, were in reality a blessing and possession to the community. But that was before Steamers had swamped us under floods of ragged Irish savages;—before Scotland's sons had quite renounced the faiths and heroisms of their Fathers, and taken to singing either “Praise to Whisky,” or else “Glory to Mammon in the highest.”— They will have to give up both these Devil's-Gospels, in some measure, before long; or else go to the Devil, not soul only, but body and breeches-pocket and all!

I am much obliged by your regard for me; and heartily wish you good-speed in lifting up your testimony against an evil time. Every man, by act and by word, should testify against it; and will, if he is a good man, wherever strength and opportunity is given him. I remain always Yours very sincerely

T. Carlyle