July-December 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 30


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 5 July 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550705-TC-JF-01; CL 30: 3-4


Chelsea, 5 july, 1855—

Dear Forster,

The Ministerial Fortress (in that Lowe matter), hearing of the Times Newspaper, beats the chamade [drum signal for a parley],—or rather half-beats it, for everything is done by halves if possible, and we are to have a half-pension, it appears!

Lady Stanley had been here yesterday; but the maid was not discoverable, the Wife away; and the man here in his garret heard only a bumping and thumping, which he imputed to external Carpenters. Not till this morning at Post-time was her Ladyship's Card, marked with a message in pencil, discovered in the box; I thereupon wrote by Express; and here is the answer, for your reading: a Pension of £10 for the younger Lowe,—a half-pension!

What is to be done with it? Upon the whole I perceive that we must accept, and let the matter lie there for the present. It gives the Lowes £71 annually, with a sum to start from; and no noise made about it.— I think therefore you had better wrap up all that stuff of Papers for the Times, witht more trouble spent upon them; seal, date and label the Packet (as I have no doubt you do all documentary matter), and let it lie there, till some new pressure of difficulty arise,—forever and a day, let us hope!

We are much better out of the thing than we might have feared. Thanks to the noble energy of Forster which has failed at no point of the crush,—and saved me from likelihood of suffocation, me for one! Some time you can do a little paragraph about the thing in The Examiner; and so it will handsomely finish.

By the bye, thinking about Lemoine yes[terday]1 I reflected, before getting home, that he seemed to have no evidence whatever, beyond his own surmise and suspicion, of Prince Albert's having interfered at all in that matter of the Débats Paragraph or Article?2 Knowing to what length suspicion can go in the mind of an angry Frenchman, I incline to think Lemoine most probably altogether mistaken, and Louis Napoleon (in whom I have traced much of the Housebreaker talent, touches of the Truculent-Flunkey, and nothing of the Heroic hitherto)3 probably himself the sole author of that Lemoine operation. “To put down the Press in France”: what good or evil can the Press of France do to that poor Gentn? The Press of England, not put down or puttable, is what he hangs on!— Give him the benefit of this doubt, I charge you; think not worse of your Prince than you were wont, except upon new evidence.

And in the Times matter, HALT (and thank Heaven)!— Yours, dear F. always T. Carlyle