The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO HENRIETTA MARIA STANLEY ; 6 July 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410706-TC-HMS-01; CL 13: 167-168


Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan, N.B. 6 july, 1841—

My dear Mrs Stanley,

After considerable voyaging and wayfaring for a week past, I find myself arrived here once more;—and, alas, have still to ask with some dubiety, Whither next? In a day or two now, I do hope, that question will have got some kind of answer for a quarter of a year to come. It is a fearful curse that of the Prophet, “Make them like unto a wheel!”1— You shall hear from me again, so soon as I have any address likely to last above a week.

Today my petition to you is, for a Cheshire Newspaper, or the smallest Note of hand, that I may learn how your Election has gone,—or promises to go if still undecided.2 My fears for the Cheshire yeomen are great; the heads of yeomen and men are very thick! Unless, indeed, there be witches in North Cheshire—?— Who knows! We will hope the best, till we hear otherwise.

The result of the Elections in general, it seems already, is all gone awry; our poor Whigs are out, and Peel and the Sliding Scale are in.3 Well;—and yet it is not well. I declare, the aspect of these things is sad to see. The Whigs will come in again when they grow wiser. If they do not grow wiser, they had better stay out. God mend us all; we ought all to grow wiser!—

I have found out Alderly Park on the maps, and discover now that I have often whirled past it, sending no thought thitherward.4 Surely I shall never do so again any more.

Adieu, dear Mrs Stanley. I am in infinite hurry, in confusion worse confounded,5 as is usual when I return hither.

This place, now a rough Farm-house, was once a Border Robber-Tower, belonging to “the Carlyles,” to “the Bells” or I know not whom; and called itself Godsbrig,—Bridge built by God; over a chasm of rocks, and “Devils Cauldron” we have got here.6 Only think of that.— This whole region is to me like a kind of Hades; or even ghastlier and stranger than that can well be,—were we once got to it.

———In one word, I beg for a Newspaper, for a Note, for some tolerant Non-oblivion; and am and remain always

Yours with true regard /

T. Carlyle