August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 17 June 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580617-TC-JF-01; CL 33: 241-243


Chelsea, 17 june, 1858—

Dear Forster,

Somehow I will see you before I go; but, alas, that beautiful plan cannot take effect. We are (on old promise, and after about 20 refusals) bound for the country1 from Saturday till monday:—country air is good; but the truth is, I am perfectly ruined by the heat and etceteras now summing themselves up; and all power of voluntary motion has as it were forsaken me. It is evident I shall not get away on monday: I will make an attempt on Montague Square2 again before departure.— As to the Chapman question, I assure myself that you are completely master of that already; and that you cannot go against my judgement in it while you follow your own.

I am busy getting some settlement affected about my Horse,—he must be off my hands for a few weeks on Friday night at latest; and the question is multiplex, highly unfit for solution by the like of me at this juncture. Horse, and many other beggarly questions of a like nature:—and I am just out, half-alive, from the Slough of Despond,3 temperature 82° in the shade; Thames River with a Stink worse than Acheron;4 a gilt Old-Clothes man5 ruling the Empire of Britain; and Beelzebub, so to speak, doing his will on Earth, with a clear working majority,—less power to him!

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“Father Thames introducing his offering to the fair city of London”

Punch, 3 July 1858


I dined yesterday on milk, absolutely without bread; a mild bowl of curds;—not fit to resist the Devil upon, tho' I cannot eat anything better.

I hope you will get a horse immediately. This Animal of mine, if you liked to take him and ride him till you were suited, of course it wd be nothing but a deliverance to me at present. An excellent animal too, of the most polite and discreet nature, needing nothing but polite treatment; plenty of go in him too there naturally is or used to be: but the fact, I do think, is, the poor creature, owing to his hot stable or I know not to what, is certainly not quite himself at present; and I dare not press such a thing on you. Him I mean to fling into grass somewhere, till it appear whitherward he can be sent by rail to be of advantage to me.

Enough, dear Forster; I will see Montague Square again, & you there, I hope.

Yours ever T. Carlyle