January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 18 July 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430718-TC-JAC-01; CL 16: 286-288


Abergwili Carmarthen 18 july 1843 (Tuesday)

My dear Brother,

I got along yesterday to the “Bishop's Palace” here; but am yet so confused in my new locality that nothing but the desire to give you my promptest news could excuse me for writing today. Add to all things that it is raining, and I am to go out in fifteen minutes for a four hours ride with the magnanimous Bishop! He fears no weather.— This is the house old Laud inhabited; I was summoned this morning to say my prayers in the very chapel of the old Chimera. I went but did not try to pray much,—at least not in his dialect.

My route hither you probably know: By Neath, Swansea &c. I have seen no such place as Swansea for horrid deformity produced by labour of man. The copper dross is ugly as Golgotha; the Welsh bodies too, men and women, are duddy [ragged], dirty, all in hats the womankind, and look extremely queer. We passed successively thro' four tollbars demolished by Rebecca. The gates were sawed off close by the ground,—great thick posts; and had then been burnt or carried away. The tollhouse was totally demolished; the roof rolled up within the ruined walls of it, seemingly by long levers, and left there in a mass. No toll was asked, no person was there. The nocturnal riots, we are told, have not ended; but one sees nothing of it by day, and nobody seems to mind it at all.1— There is a bell thinking for something or other! I must be brief.

Perhaps this afternoon there will be a Letter from you at five o'clock? I will write in deliberate answer to that; nay probably tomorrow at any rate.— I still persist in making my way thro' by Aberystwith, and onwards to Menai perhaps or Bangor2 or wherever the conveniences are. As no regular coaches are to be heard of, I cannot prophecy my times: two or three days here, that is the last appointed pause I make. Cannot you if you like to meet me, and stroll about a little, get over straightway to Liverpool, and there appoint me place and time, at Bangor or elsewhere? Or perhaps you do not care to tourify in Wales any more at present. I cannot ask you to come, for what have I to give you? Only it would be pleasant enough to meet! I will therefore continue to prophesy my motives as near as I can.— Jane informs me Mr Ogilvy called for you at Chelsea; only left a card, I think. Jane is well, still painting, painting! Nichts zu bedeuten [nothing of importance] otherwise.

My dear good Mother—O I wish I could write a volume to tell all I think about her and the rest of you. I shall see you all soon if it please Heaven. I sent a Newspaper to Jean, to Mary, and to my Mother; flung in yesterday as I passed thro' Carmarthen, in hopes the Post-office people would stamp them. Mary, I think, unless you have explained to her would hardly know what to make of it. Adieu, dear Brother. God's blessing on you all. Poor Alick too!—

Ever your affectionate

T. Carlyle

I go always in the Tweed,—one of the best of coats!—