The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO THOMAS STORY SPEDDING ; 30 September 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410930-TC-TSS-01; CL 13: 267-268


Chelsea, 30 September 1841—

Dear Spedding,

The Letter forwarded from Greta Bank found me duly here.1 I did go by Tynemouth after all,— the female genius, the bad weather, and many other things constraining me: I had four days more of dialogue with the Sea; and then shot hitherward as on the Arrow of Abaris,2—on the Darlington Railway, namely: it was that very night that the hapless Blakesley was murdering in Eastcheap;3— how many things the impartial stars look down on! I came home, rather a sadder, we fear not much a wiser man.4 But we shall see. I can say, one of the pleasantest episodes of these months, indeed of these late years, was the one at Keswick. Yes, truly; and more than pleasant! But there is no need for words.

The Letter you forwarded was from Sterling. I enclose you the whole contents, if perhaps they may amuse you for a moment. Unluckily you cannot get good of them as pipe-matches. Small profit lies in such paper otherwise.

The Rev. Noel Something sends me his Pamphlet, which I had already seen: here it goes too. And the two Portraits from Oxford: have you seen two prettier men?5 The weasel-face and the ferret-face,— truly prophetic countenances both! May the Lord make us thankful.

The rain falls here continually; in a style that would do credit to Borrowdale6 or the Solway. I sit within doors; secluded from the very Postman, for I have forbidden him to knock or disturb me, he throws in his Letters by a slit, and passes on. I sit in death-duel with Dulness, battle, battle; the betting hitherto on her side! But, as before, we shall see.

I desire Mrs. Spedding to remember me as kindly as I do her;—which, alas, is hardly a fair bargain. If the Ex-Secretary7 be still within reach, tell him to smoke one cigar in memory of me, and to come soon. Let me offer my regards to Miss Spedding,8 to Mirehouse generally, and to the Genius of the Hills.

Good be with you always. So prays, from the heart,

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle