1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JAMES MARSHALL; 10 December 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18541210-TC-JMA-01; CL 29: 214


10 December, 1854

Neither have I the happiness to sympathize with my countrymen in this magnificent Turk war they have got into, and are all talking about. On the contrary, I reckon it one of the maddest wars lately heard of: Undertaken with immense enthusiasm of all the noisy, unwise classes and with all the quiet and wise indifferent to it, or dead against it. One wish possesses these latter, I think: that of handsomely terminating said war. For my own share, I know little about Czar Nicholas and his Russia, though often enquiring after him and it; but it is my private notion, the Czar Nicholas may probably be a king doing more real king work, than all the other kings that now are,—much outweighing the whole lot of them in intrinsic value;—and I have always well understood the Turks to be a set of dark, fanatical and sensual blockheads, waiting, these three hundred years, to be thrown into the Black sea by anybody that was passing that way, and had leisure for the job. At least and lowest, it all surely lies a long way out of our road; and God knows we had work enough at home, if we had stood to it. John Sterling's brother is now before Sebastopol, “Colonel Sterling” or “Adjutant General” (I know not what title:), unhurt hitherto: No other friend, at all near to me, is concerned there, as yet.—