The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES ; 13 May 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530513-TC-RMM-01; CL 28: 138


Chelsea, 13 May, 1853—

Dear Milnes,—Alas, I am the victim of the Evil Genii,—especially of my own Evil Genius,—and cannot come. The name of your Lion is illegible; but that is not important: no Lion could be more welcome to me than your old good self, were the enterprise otherwise possible.

Clough (from New England) yesterday, bids me thank you for a Letter he has got which gives him much pleasure. He is coming home, we expect; Lord Granville (at a certain noble Lady's instance) having just offered him some reasonable appointment.

If you could persuade Gladstone to take off that extremely scrubby little tax on Foreign Books (or rather on old Foreign Books, for the modern are oftenest worth less than nothing, and may be burnt at St Catherine's for what I care), he will do a perceptible benefit to the one or two serious students still extant in this country.1 A perceptible benefit; not a great one,—ah, no!—and on the whole, if he won't and can't, “the Muses” (with Panizzi's breech seated on the throat of them, and little conscious of crime in the posture [t]he poor devil!) must still try to live if they can.2

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle