August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO EDWARD FITZGERALD; 22 September 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460922-TC-EF-01; CL 21:54-55.


Chelsea, 22 Septr, 1846—

Dear Fitzgerald,

Your Letter finds me here; where I have been for some ten days now,—mostly asleep, for I arrived in a very wearied state. There is therefore nothing to be said about any farther wandering, for a good while to come!

My Pilgrimage, so far as immediate improvement in health or spirits went, was none of the successfullest: I was dreadfully knocked about with one tumult and another; and indeed in the whole course of my journeyings, could find no place half as quiet for me as Chelsea, with an empty London behind it, now is.

After a couple of weeks in Lancashire, I went across to Scotland; saw rainy weather, rotten potatoes, brutal drunken Navvies, and other unpleasant phenomena; went no further North than Dumfriesshire;—at length, with a dead-lift effort, decided to pass over into Ireland, by Ardrossan and Belfast, not with any hope of profit or enjoyment at all, but merely to redeem a promise I had given in those quarters. For some days accordingly I did see a bit of Ireland; roamed over the Streets of Dublin, a little among the Wicklow Hales;1 saw Daniel in his green cap in Conciliation Hall (the hugest palpable Humbug I had ever before set eyes on); listened to Young Ireland (with hope that it might yet turn to something); regretted much you were not with me to look on all that;—finally, by Liverpool and the swiftest power of Steam, had myself tumbled out here, and so winded up the matter. My Wife, who had not gone farther than Lancashire, was here to receive me a fortnight before: much improved in health she; I too expect to feel myself a gainer by these painful locomotions by and by. The thinnest-skinned creature cannot be left always to sit covered under a tub; must be pitched out, from time to time, into the general hurlyburly, and ordered to stir himself a little.

From Moxon I heard the other day that Tennyson and he had just been in Switzerland;2 that T. was actually at that time in Town, his address unknown; Moxon was himself just bound for Ramsgate,—undertook to send Alfred to me if he could; but has not succeeded hitherto. Thackeray I have heard of at Boulogne or Brighton;3 Spedding I missed in Cumberland:4 I think there is nobody yet here whom you know; but indeed I keep out of all people's way as much as may be. Do you know Poet Browning? He is just wedded, as his card testifies this morning; the Mrs Browning still an enigma to us here.5 “Conciliation” appeared to me to be on its last legs— Tell Browne with compliments, my Horse was sold in Annandale £35 [word illegible], to a much admiring neighbour of my Brother's there.— Come you and see us, speedily, and hear all the news.

Ever yours /

T. Carlyle