The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO GEORGE JOHNSTON ; 23 August 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500823-TC-GJ-01; CL 25: 171-172


Boverton, Glamorganshire, 23 Au[g]t 1850—

Many thanks for your Note, which comes just in time: had it been a post later, I should have despaired to see you in Glo'ster, and have probably passed without trying! For I am not well at present; nor equal to dubious adventures, especially while on the road.

I leave this tomorrow (Saturday) about 10 a.m; get to Chepstow, mostly by rail, at half past one; and directly thereupon mount into a Coach, which announces itself for Glo'ster at that hour,—name of Coach— —? Alas, alas, on consulting my mysterious Railway Guide, I do not find, that there is any coach at all about that hour; my fond memory must have deceived me! Well, then; I do clearly remember, from last weeks Newspaper, there is a Swansea Steamer, which calls at Chepstow in time for that train on its way to Glo'ster: by that I will set my intent to come; and so arrive by water,—the hour probably a little uncertain.

As I have little time to stay, and would fain see you,—and moreover want very much to be quiet,—I think if I do not descry your presence about the landing-place of the Steamer (where you will know me by a white hat), I will drive directly to your House (“Wor'ster Street, near the railway bridge”), and there, if you have a quiet place for me, I will stay with you overnight; all the happier the more solitary we are;—and next day the program says, Forward to Liverpool! I have been bothered all to pieces with the want of sleep ever since I left home, three weeks ago and more; and do not with confidence reckon on any remedy to that sore want till I get to Scotsbrig again. If you are on the spot, with your housekeeper (whatever she may be, poor innocent soul) it will be all right: if you are not there, I will try on the spur of the moment whatsoever is possible for a sight of you before leaving Glo'ster: and surely I think it will go hard if I do not succeed by one method or another.

Being in great haste, packing, writing letters &c &c, and in the hope of so speedy a meeting,—I will say no more at present; but subscribe myself, with many old remembrances such as can belong to few other men from me,

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle