October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO MARGARET CALLAN ; 7 December 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18561207-TC-MACA-01; CL 32: 46-47


Chelsea, 7 decr, 1856—

Dear Mrs Callan,

Your Letter, so soon as I had time to read it deliberately, awoke some sad feelings in me, sad tho’ not unbeautiful, which continue to attend me ever since.1 I am not to see you again in this world, it would seem. There was but little chance of my ever again getting to Ireland: but you were always possible there,—the brightest thing I had seen in that strange Ragged Tragedy of a Country (impressive almost as the Bible, to look into earnestly, and to read in silence);—and the thought of you, and that I might see you again, was always like a bit of sunshine in that dark Picture. It is now altered; and I must count you too among those (very many now) who have gone into the Land of Dreams for me.— I am sorrier to think of it than perhaps you believe.

Will you accept from me, in token of my blessing on your Pilgrimage, this Photograph, which I have begged for you,—the long delay of it, is the Cause why you are so long unanswered;—I wanted to send it for behoof of Duffy and you: if you could return me the like, some time or other (both your faces, the Lady's especially), from the opposite side of the world, how welcome wd it be!— For the present, do not write to me on this trifling matter; merely indicate, by addressing an old Newspaper to me, that the Shadow has come and been received, and all shall be said.

My hurry in these months, as is like to be for many yet to come, transcends all experience in my past existence; and in fact presses almost crushingly upon me,—tho’ I hope to hold out, too, and get my work done, and sorted aside in some tolerable manner, before all end:—for the present, A happy voyage, and a blessed new home, to you and yours! No [one] can wish you that more sincerely, I think.

Very kind of you to read in your own devout heart that I am not “irreligious.” No; that is a most ignorant, dark, and nearly brutish accusation,—if it were of any moment.2

God bless you, dear Madam. With kind regards to Dr Callan, I am

Yours sincerely /

T. Carlyle