The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO ARTHUR HELPS ; 27 July 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520727-TC-AH-01; CL 27: 185-186


Linlathen, Dundee 27 july, 1852—

Dear Helps,

If there were any hope that you wd continue to send me such messages as that printed one to your Imaginary Yankee1 (and a Note to myself in Ms under the cover) without response on my part, I shd be greatly tempted to take your own hint, and answer absolutely nothing: but—!— The truth is, I got the article in question a week ago at Chelsea; read it more than once,—honestly amused by the quiet irony and grave Socratic sense contained in the same;—and did intend to say so, that very day; when, behold, a flight to Scotland, per steamer to Dundee, at which I had been shuddering and procrastinating, was suddenly resolved upon (so intense was the heat, so intolerable along with the noise and dust); and accordingly here I am, announcing, at this date instead of that, two small facts instead of one. My voyage was as prosperous as sea-travelling could be: nevertheless I have been in a paroxysm of biliary confusions ever since I set foot on shore, and this is the first day I have been good for anything. How long I am to stay in this county I know not; all I know is, Chelsea, with Morgan's people in it, is a place I had better avoid for some time! For the rest, my wife continues there, or in the neighbourhood, being intent to superintend; and we are both of us entirely contented with the good Morgan.

If I were to get into talking here about big smoky Dundee, and the still beautiful Firth of Tay (where I have bathed twice); about St Andrews Town, the steeples of which are visible here, and seem to invite a visit from me; about Scotch humours, fun and piety, and Scotch gentlefolk and simplefolk:—all this wd require several sheets, and alas today in my haste I can scarcely afford one little patch. Adieu, dear Helps: any slightest remembrance from you is always pleasant to my soul; and I rank you, with a kind of royal satisfaction, among the few earnest labourers still known to me on this Planet; and wish you from the heart at all times well.— I am to be still a week or 10 days more (“Thos Erskine Esqr”), after whh two weeks at “Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan” (my old Mother's); and Chelsea always is an address if you have any further sheets for me

Yours always truly—

T. Carlyle