January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO CHARLES REDWOOD ; 24 July 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430724-TC-CR-01; CL 16: 310-311


20. Maryland Street, Liverpool 24 july 1843—

My Dear Sir,

As, most likely, your hospitable imagination has sometimes followed me northward on my progress from your quiet kindly regions, it seems proper I should send you an authentic specification from this resting place I have now got to.

The outer seat at Bridgend, that morning, turned out to have been bespoken by another, a fellow sufferer in the interior; who accordingly took possession of it there; I remaining in confinement as far as Neath. There however there was deliverance into the sunshine, into the smoke of Morriston and Swansea;1 into all the etceteras, none of them very disagreeable, none of them indeed other than interesting, of a ride to Carmarthen, thro'; Rebecca Gates, over steep eminences, thro' a country pleasant tho' ill-cultivated, thro' a population cheerful and innocent of aspect tho' somewhat out at elbows here and there. At Abergwili the Bishop in his wide secluded mansion sat waiting for me; all friendly, all quiet and green: nevertheless, as you predicted, I have to record that the last I have yet seen of rest was at Llandough, blessings on its green trees and solitary knolls;—it is the last I am yet like to see of that invaluable quality for some time! The Bishop led me incessantly about in search of the picturesque, on high trotting horses in all weathers, sometimes twenty miles off on one ride; conversation wise but not restful going on all day, and prayers in Laud's Chapel, and other solemnities in other places going on from 7 in the morning till midnight. We had the Judge2 one evening and a shipload of noisy barristers. On friday morning I was not unwilling to embark into the green world again; on the mail coach towards Monmouth, towards Gloucester, towards Worcester, and Liverpool where I now heard that my Brother had arrived and was waiting for me. On Saturday evening I at length reached this house, for welcome pause of a day or two. On the morrow morning we set off,3 if the weather will hold up for a week's walking in North Wales. I go to it as to a duty, with little hope of anything but toil from it; with almost a kind of wish that the clouds would become electric again, and honourably deliver me from it. But failing this, we shall have to go to the Isle of Man, which will be equally bad. The wicked, it is written, have no rest.4 In a week, however, I shall be ready here again for the first Steamer into Annandale; and then in my Mother's house I will lie down and sleep again whatever befal!

This, in hurried style (for I am in dreadful hurry), is my travel's history5 and prophecy. I add to it a cordial remembrance to your good, kind, quiet Mother, whom I shall long remember; and many grateful thanks to you,—and to Madge Wildfire6 and the St. Donat's Sea, which made my stay in your domain so useful and pleasant to me. Right hearty thanks and blessings to all.

Yours most truly, /

T. Carlyle