April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 4 August 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490804-TC-JWC-01; CL 24: 172


Gweedore Hôtel1 / 4 Augt (Friday) 1849—

My salutations to thee Goody, from this strange place,—an Hospice of St Bernard among the Bogs, which I visit under the strangest escort! Plattnauer, poor fellow, had come out 16 miles to meet me the day before yesterday; yesterday Lord George drove him and me across the mountains hither, a 20 miles of desolate black wilderness, a treble x2 of Craigenputtoch; and here we found Forster waiting who had come by another road, and was very proud to be introduced to the Lordship here. Lord George is an exceedingly beautiful little man; I have not seen anywhere, or heard of, a more singular, and to me sad and grievous-looking enterprise than this of his to reclaim these savages, to reclaim these desolate bogs, divided from all the world! But so have the gods willed it; Gweedore too was to have a chance! Figure to yourself a fine nimble, grandly-smiling, most earnest truthful and courteous little man of fifty; long head (as grey and bushy as your husbands), elegant club-nose, and intellectually protrusive mouth; all in grey hodden, jacket, trowsers cap: that is the figure of Ld George. A man devoted to the strangest of pursuits,—which however I imagine is better than soldiering or Mayfairing. The x̅x̅>x̅ Craigenputtoch, with loch, riverkin and a “Glen of Poison” (so-called, slightly resembling a kind of mock Highland Glen: 3 feet of bog everywhere, and all sticking full of limestone crags,—that is his scene; on which by dint of passionate endeavour, and I doubt large expenditure, he is succeeding a little; may he succeed more and more!

Adieu. Here is breakfast, and the whole party. Forster got a Letter from you here yesterday, and you are safe at Auchtertool! Well, thanks for that. On Tuesday, F. and I get to Derry. Duffy is quite gone; off to Dublin, two days ago.

Thine ever (for they are all waiting breakfast for me). Adieu, till Derry.—

T. Carlyle