July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO W. E. FORSTER; 9 August 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470809-TC-WEF-01; CL 22: 30-31


Matlock Bath, 9 Augt / 1847—

Dear Forster,

Your face, whatever morning it appears here, shall be as that of a friend to us. We will cheerfully traverse the Peak Country under your able guidance;1 cheerfully go home with you, and lie dormant for a day or two, guarded by that invaluable housedog. At least such is our feeling, the feeling of both of us, this day, on reading your hospitable Letter. Come therefore when it suits you,—not later than Friday, for our inaction has to cease then. Drive to the “Old Bath Hôtel” close by this; there are no more beds attainable here; and even if there were, I judge by farther experience the Old Bath might be preferable.

There are, according to the Guide-Books, numerous “interesting drives” on all sides of Matlock: but, to us, to sit down anywhere, and look peaceably around, is altogether as good; the very “Heights of Abraham,” within gunshot of us, but beset by intricate conditions, zigzag paths, and loquacious hungry Guides, remain unscaled hitherto. We had a kind of purpose to glance into Dovedale (Ashbourne seems to be some 12 miles off); to pass one day in the Buxton Crescent; to visit very transiently the Peak Cavern;—and, for my own behoof, I had determined to try at Tideswell (a village in the Buxton region) whether the Church-Register would not at least authentically tell me on what day James Brindley,2 the transcendent Human Beaver, was born: but all these arrangements, except perhaps the last, hang loose in the wind, revocable at pleasure; and to say truth, one of my chief anticipated joys is that of rolling all the trouble of pilotage upon you, I for my own share betaking myself to the easy task of sleeping or of smoking. Come, then; before Friday; and be prepared in some measure to take the reins.3— Yours ever truly, T. Carlyle