The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JULIUS CHARLES HARE ; 1 August 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400801-TC-JUCH-01; CL 12: 208-209


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea / London, 1 Augt, 1840—

My dear Sir,

If you are from home, or are otherwise engaged at home, pray consider this Missive as an arrow shot into the vague, which has missed; and do not take any trouble whatever with it.

These several weeks, I have been painfully meditating an enterprise of the most momentous description,—a rural ride into England, before parting with a Horse I have had for some time! A Keblah,1 as the Moslem name it, has been greatly wanting: towards which of the thirty-two azimuth-points was it, of all others, the most advantageous to ride? I decide at last for the sea-coast, thro' Surrey. I set out tomorrow; shall stay at Leatherhead till Monday or perhaps Tuesday. And now a certain kind message Sterling once delivered me comes to mind; and I say to myself, If the good Mr Hare is at home, why should I not go and see Herstmonceux, William Bastard's battleground, the ocean-stream, a good Library, a fruitful country, and a gifted friendly man?2 If the Destinies be not unkind I may see all this.

Should a Note arrive from you at Leatherhead before Monday evening, it will accordingly have a great chance to bring me. My address there is, “Care of Charles Buller Esqr, Priory, Leatherhead, Surr[e]y.” What the arrangement of the Country Posts is I know not; but there seems ample time. If I hear nothing, I shall consider you from home, or that the thing is otherwise become no-thing.

In the opposite happy case, a few words about the route were very welcome. I suppose I must get across to Tunbridge Wells; go by Frant, Mayfield, and somewhere near Hailsham find you? Penshur[s]t and a shadow of Philip Sidney3 seem to lie on the way: anything more of the like sort?

I hope you have no Ladies! My wardrobe contained in a saddle-valise of not many square-inches in extent, is like to be of the most Scythian description: indeed the chief article is a Macintosh,—one cannot dine in that with Ladies!

At all events, let me have your prayers for this expedition. Nothing so remarkable in the riding way has been undertaken, I think, since Quixote took the road.

Believe Me, / My dear Sir, Yours with true regard /

T. Carlyle