1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JAMES GARTH MARSHALL; 11 January 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540111-TC-JGM-01; CL 29: 10-11


Chelsea, 11 jany, 1854—

Dear Marshall,

I have been hindered by very sad causes, as perhaps you understand, from examining your Pamphlet,1 or even from getting hold of it, till lately. At length, however, I have read it, which is no hard task;—and have to testify that I find it modestly, ingenuously, clearly, and in short well written; and that there is not, to my perception, any flaw in the argument, nor anything anywhere from which I can expressly dissent. If Lord John, or whoever is charged with that sublime function of bringing in a “New Reform Bill,”2 shall please to introduce your Cumulative-Vote process,3 I will at once admit to him that it is likely to be an improvement, and wish it good speed for him and you.— But, to say truth, I take less and less interest in Voting of any kind; the incurable darkness of the great body of mankind, and their born incapacity to “vote” for anything, except for what they will have to dinner and the like, growing daily more apparent to me, more hideous, abominable,—and even awful, as I look over their sad History past and present. There will never be a tolerable world again till the Servile of Mankind (whom all the nuggets in California4 cannot make other than Slaves, always the uglier the more nuggets they get) shall be entirely excluded from voting, or have their votes by some good method reduced to zero, which they are, and which it is frightful and against all Laws of God to regard them as not being;—which consummation, I perceive, is still at a very great distance, quite out of my section of time: so that neither voting nor the prayed-for euthanasia of voting is now a thing that much concerns me.

You are not now in Parlt,5 but doubtless you come occasionally to London; and I think you ought not to forget quite so much as you do that there is a place called Chelsea close by, and a human soul there who is always well affected to you, and desirous to see you. With many kind regards to the Lady,6—Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle