The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO WILLIAM STIRLING ; 21 August 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520821-TC-WS-01; CL 27: 241-242


Scotsbrig, 21 Augt, 1852

Dear Stirling,

I should really have been delighted to see you and your beautiful country, which I only glanced at once many years ago: and had your hospitable admonition reached me at Linlathen, or indeed anywhere while time still was, my consent must have been prompt and full of hope! But alas, I go for Germany in five days hence; and have not now either time or spirits for any other expedition whatever. In fact it is dire Fate, in a manner, that is driving me thither; Fate, shame, Necessity, and what is figured as the “Call of Duty”;—and I believe many a gentleman has set out for Botany Bay1 (on Queen's rations) with less reluctance than I now for this briefer adventure beyond the narrow seas. Certainly of all travellers hitherto discovered I am the worst; and therefore not unnaturally the unwillingest.

My Brother has been about Edinr last week, but is to be here the day after tomorrow; I will not fail to deliver your message, which I think may well prove enticing to him either now or soon.

Give my kind regards to the Captain and Mrs S.2 of whose pilgrimings I had already heard something.

You never sent me the Book on Charles V and his cloisters:3 I shall be back (let us hope) before your Parliament meet, or you hear the Hebrew stump-orator4 from your place!—

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle