July-December 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 30


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 27 November 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18551127-TC-JF-01; CL 30: 122-123


Chelsea, 27 Novr, 1855—

Dear Forster,

I own I had never much hope of that Lichfield business:1 we must go ahead without it.

I would say Tomorrow at 5 without hesitation; only I fear there will not be time to gather the correct report of progress from Coutts and Prescott's. Let us therefore say Saturday2 at 5; and pray contrive to get the correct bulletin from both places; and let us know exactly what we have in the bag. We can then judge whether to attack with these Circulars, or to leave things to their natural operation for a while longer. While Dickens is here, after the 8th next, we must have another meeting; and decide about getting some Actuary of an Insurance Office (I know a tolerable man, if there occur to you no better) to take accurate knowledge of these old women's ages, long annuities &c; and tell us what exact sum (my £400 was but a rough guess) will be rigorously needed for them and us. Soon after which I hope to wash my hands of it, and drink your health somewhere,—your hands being well washed too.

No answer needed to this: Saturday stands and the hour of 5 p.m., at the Athenaeum.

I have got no more money. Ruskin, whom I saw the other night, has given the old women £10 (for Turner's sake),3—I wish he had paid it into our Fund rather. He says farther, he has undertaken to himself to pay an annuity of £5 on the same score: if he wd add the purchase-money of that to what we have, it would lighten our load down to £25 annually. For beyond £30, there is not the least use in going. The poor old creatures would only waste, if they had more.

Do not forget my copy of the Cromwell Article.4 Very probably you are right about that Militis. Who found out the Felsted Tombstone,5 and when? Tell me when we meet.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle