The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO LADY AIRLIE ; 4 August 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520804-TC-LAI-01; CL 27: 202


Linlathen, Dundee / 4 Augt, 1852—

Dear Lady Airlie,

I am at present within some 20 or 30 miles, as I understand, of Cortachy Castle; and I cannot turn my face south again without waving you a gentle farewell. I have entertained pious wishes; and inquired as to distances and capabilities; but it seems to be intimated you are at some place named “Garscube,”1 in the unknown distance, in these days; and, at any rate, unless I had the wings of an eagle or dove (which I clearly have not) there could be no likelihood of so sluggish a terrestrial body's moving itself by rail or gig across the mountains in weather such as this! I have remained perfectly stationary ever since I came hither; never once even in Dundee; bathing daily in the German Ocean; and speaking no word (in general) till towards evening,—favoured as I am. Rest, and silence under these blessed skies,—no paradise (after the Baker's-oven of London) could so suit a poor man!

My Wife still remains there, superintending much architecture, and internal improvement (of her own contriving) at Chelsea: I go now to Annandale for ten days (probably on Friday first);2 after which there is still talk of some possibility of a German voyage for us;—but that, I confess has grown very vague, and looks now almost as like an impossibility.

Inquiry was made of me, whether Mrs Milnes had yet achieved anything noteworthy in British History;3 but I could give no answer. I have heard of nobody since the beginning of this month.

The other day, at Broughty-Ferry, Mr Erskine spoke with a gentleman who, he told me, was “Lord Airlie's Uncle”;4 the sight of whom brought various figures vividly into my mind. I send many kind regards to his Lordship, and with all manner of wishes and remembrances, bid the fair Countess Blanche paternally adieu for this time.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle