April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO WILLIAM STIRLING; 12 September 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490912-TC-WS-01; CL 24: 227-228


Glen Truim House, 12 Septr 1849—

Dear Stirling,

I am sorrier than perhaps you will believe at this refusal of the obstinate times and distances to meet. I leave this place tomorrow; and as there is now no object in loitering, I make direct to Edinburgh, whence after a day with an old noteworthy Friend, Lord Jeffrey, I go by the Caledonian Line to my Mother's in Annandale, for a week; after which, by the same swift conveyance, I have to project myself at once to Chelsea, and there endeavour to ruminate all this rough food my eyes have eaten these three months past! I am really quite sated of seeing,—or, as we Scotch call it, stalled or “sta'ed.” Enough, enough.

At Cawder, with pipes, and a licence of speech or silence, I could have done excellently well beside you, with the other two or without them. Lord Napier I have never seen; but, for the sake of his name, if there were nothing else, should at any time be very glad to see him.1 More acquaintance with yourself also is a thing that I actually desire, singular as it may seem! In fact I am very much disappointed at this failure;—and to make some amends, must promise myself a success in some similar enterprise before much time go by. If the Powers be propitious,—alas, if I had but got my next Book written, and could conscientiously plead need of rest, I would so gladly go with you, it seems to me, to ride sure-footed ponies, eat innocent mutton, smoke tobacco, and talk honestly what came uppermost, for a couple of weeks in poor old Scotland once again! We shall see, we shall see.

In the mean time, come to me at Chelsea whenever you are in London, and disposed to do a kindness to your fellow creature; such, I think, will really be the effect produced there.

Mrs C. is in Annandale at this moment; or perhaps crossing the Border, towards Liverpool and home. Indeed if you stay till the 27th, you may possibly enough find us both in Chelsea if you call. For the present, Adieu. The day is of the wettest; damp wind moaning thro' bad carpentry; Strathspey undergoing vapour-bath, and Corryarrick blotted out from the list of mountains.2 Yours ever truly / T. Carlyle