July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES ; 22 August 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470822-TC-RMM-01; CL 22: 40-41


Rawdon, 22 Augt, 1847—

Dear Milnes,—What shall I answer to your hospitable message?1 Alas, a man does not travel on wings, does not even carry his own feathers with him on foot; otherwise in me there were no delay!

But I am rheumatic, dyspeptic, insomnolent, as you have known me; and above all things, lazy as a Lotus-eater, looking out on these green heights, and their distant industries and steeple-chimnies, as if they and I were all a Dream;—and in fact, feel unequal to any kind of travelling enterprise, if it be not a morning ride, and back again to my own silent roost at night, with no task before me for the morrow! It is even so. My Wife cannot be persuaded from this spot at present:—would to Heaven any Commercial Gentleman would but put me into his blue bag, and fling me out at Ferrybridge, without effort of mine! But there is no hope of the like of that; and without such hope, the question again is, what shall I do?

Cannot you, as originally projected, meet me somewhere about mid way on Tuesday; and there hold conference ad libitum? This, they tell me, is “absurd.” Then, cannot you yourself come hither, you who are a born traveller, and love locomotion for its own sake? Forster, who knows you well by writing and otherwise, bids me say that of course he will be charmed to have you for guest: he can lodge you very well;—and really is not unworthy to be known to you, now or at some other time. What say you? Is there any feasibility in that? Alas, I fear, not much!—

Failing all things, there is Tuesday with its new capabilities, facilities, so hopeful in the distance of eight-and forty-hours.2 I feel as if I could ride to Fryston and back again, myself, on Tuesday—eight-and-forty hours off! I shall be heartily chagrined if you go to Spain without meeting me.3— Bid the Lady Galway, and all noble ladies, and the hon. Gentleman your Father have what pity for me they can.4

Yours ever truly

T. Carlyle