The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES ; 25 April 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410425-TC-RMM-01; CL 13: 115


Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan / 25 April, 1841—

Dear Milnes,

Accept my salutations out of my Mother's cottage in poor old native Annandale! They will reach you on the other side of the Cumberland Mountains, in a scene differing from this as green Earth does from Hades,—tho' this too is Earth, were not I too spectrish at present! I found my Mother taken suddenly unwell at a Daughter's house, some twenty miles off this; and had to hasten thitherward without halt. That is the reason of my delay in writing to you. Happily all is now right again; and we are here in safety, met one other time under this Sun.

The moors are silent as death,—a strange unwonted blessing to me. The sun shines with a kind of metallic brightness, beautifying even moors and simple furrow fields. Specks of snow still chequer the blue of Skiddaw and Helvellyn,1 my noble friends. Ah me! these brooks still gush along as they did thirty years ago, as they did three thousand years ago; and with me in that period, in that latter period especially, so much has altered! I study to live silent, as the moors themselves; and feel, as I always do here, extremely like a Ghost,—which indeed I am, and you are.2 Yet outside these windows, larks are singing, far up over their earth-nests: we are alive withal, as I understand it. O Puseyisms, Shovelhat-isms,3 and all Isms that are or were, hold your foolish scraggy jaw;—all the jargon you can utter, is it not like a kind of personal insult in the presence of that entirely unutterable Fact!—

Dear Milnes, I beg you to continue to have some regard for me. Enclosed is the small money-debt converted into gold; the debt of thankfulness I owe will not be soon paid. You are, upon the whole, a good man,—tho' with terrible perversities.

I shall be proud if Lady Galway and her Husband will remember me at all. I desire you to offer my best regards to your good Mother, to your Aunts and your Father. Fryston shall be memorable to me; Fryston and the inhabitants there. You too, you rogue, in spite of all you pretend, have you not a certain faintly perceptible but undeniable degree of kindness for me!

In not many days I hope to see you again in Pall Mall.

Yours affectionately /

T. Carlyle