July-December 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 30


TC TO JOSEPH NEUBERG ; 28 July 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550728-TC-JN-01; CL 30: 12-15


Chelsea, 28 july, 1855—

Dear Neuberg,— I am likely to be out on Sunday night;1 therefore come on Monday, if you can. Indeed any night after, so far as I know.

By great luck I lighted lately on the Title of Stille's Book (Stille was one of the intimates at Rheinsberg,2 a man of real sense on military and other matters); I have read many valuable excerpts from it, but could never know whether it was more than a ms. till now! Here it is:

“Campagnes du Roi (de Prusse?), avec des reflexions sur les causes des evénemens. 8 vo. 1762” (no Place, nor do I know whether with Stille's name or not).3— I wish you would look in the Museum Catalogue, King's Library first; and, if possible, get me the Ticket of this Book.4

Secondly, I want some examination of the English Newspapers in reference to the Battle of Dettingen;5—very cursory examination, with an eye (as usual) to human details. Date is 27 june 1743. In the Gentleman's Magazine for july 1743 (p. 387 of the Volume) is a letter;6 this I can see, if needful, at the London Library. On the whole do not bother much about Dettingen: we shall need Fontenoy7 &c, and not too much about any.— Suppose you try too in April 1741; after his Majesty's speech upon Pragc Sanction and £300,000 to a much injured Queen of Hungary8 (I think 8 April O.S.);9—and what an English able editor thinks of the thing? This also rather slightly, than profoundly.

My Note Paper is wearing done10 again. It was always too thin, cottony, and unsatisfactory in comparison. If the Stationer wd take this kind of paper (this, and no mistake), and fold a lot of it (in the way this leaf is folded) in quarto form,—and paint the edges of it red,—that would do excellently for Note Paper. I send this as specimen both of paper and shape;—and will not go to the other leaf at all, therefore.

Yours ever truly,

T. Carlyle


Jenkins (Trading or Smuggling and buccaneering Sea-Captain) his Ears cut off, and laid before the British Parlt (signal to Spanish War of 174011

1. “Cut off,” date is june 1731, “About this time we heard,” &c—suppose May 1731 to be the time of the actual transaction in the West Indies? Exact day, if such can be got (reference to Salmon,12 is in (t.o. [turn over]) p. 2 of what I now write)

2o. Ears shewn to House of Commons (Jenkins there), “t.o.” for what I know of that. Ten times over have I seen the thing talked of, but never with any date, specification or clear evidence; generally with this tailpiece: “Hon. Member. And what did you think, Mr Jenkins?— Jenkins. I thot of my king and country and the laws of England.” (Hear, hear).

The Index to the Gentlemans Magazine may perhaps direct a little. Still more probably Index to the Commons Journals.13— — Old Newspapers can hardly fail to give some account of the scene.



6/8 March, 1739, Discussion of terms of the question were abt “some address to the King” (War underneath) the question, War with Spain? 400 members had taken their seats before 8 a.m; Walpole spoke, Pitt spoke &c14 (Walpole still prevailed, “Peace if possible”; but by a small majority): Was this the day when Jenkins actually presented his ears to the admiration of mankind,—ears cut off him, in his own ship, by those bloody Spaniards, in 1731 (full account in the old Newspapers of June 1731; or copied (?) in Salmon's Chronological Historian (2 small 8vo's, London 1748) ii,246); but now for the first time offered in ipso corpore [bodily form] (preserved in salt all this while)?15

(Jenkins did, to all appearance, actually lose his ear or ears; and possibly rather deserved it: but these were not his ears; only a pious fraud of them. Great laughter ensued by and by, after the first horror was over, in consequence.— I would fain see the matter cleared into definite certainty (Thackeray's Chatham I,32 quotes what Fredk says of Jenkins's ear (vague laughter at the vague rumour);—but says nothing more of the matter. Nor does Coxe that I remember.16