The Collected Letters, Volume 11


TC TO THOMAS STORY SPEDDING ; 6 September 1839; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18390906-TC-TSS-01; CL 11: 180-181


Scotsbrig, 6th September, 1839—

Alas, my dear Sir, precisely on the day when I was about writing to you, to fix, in spite of all obstacles, the time of our meeting, arrives the fatal Letter! Before now, I suppose, all is over. “Dust to dust, and the spirit to God who gave it!”1 “God is great,” say the Moslem; “God is good,” add the Christians: to which what further can we add? That it is mystery and awe, this Life of ours; that Silence is fittest of all. I never knew your dear Brother,2 of you also I have seen with my eyes but little; yet it seems to me at this moment as if I had known you both long, and loved you well.

We have forthwith renounced the notion of Cumberland altogether for this year. We had no strict call except to you; and from you we are now too mournfully absolved by this event. Cumberland is wrapt in sorrow and shade to one's thoughts; visiting there, or anywhere, is not our business any more at present. We purpose getting to Carlisle on Monday; then by the Preston Railway home as soon as possible,—on the following forenoon as we calculate. If you could write me a word thither, or failing you if James were to write, I feel as if it would be kind; tho indeed at bottom, what is there to say? Alas, all is already said. God comfort you, my friend.

I shall have a Book to send you: is Carlisle the place to direct it towards?

With true sympathy, / Yours always

T. Carlyle