August 1843-March 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 17


TC TO THOMAS STORY SPEDDING ; 28 August 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430828-TC-TSS-01; CL 17: 96


Scotsbrig, 28 August, 1843—

My dear Spedding,

The Fates are against us. I have got myself wetted, wearied, entirely dispirited among the Galloway moors; the rain still alternates with mere Scotch mist: I feel unequal to any kind of travelling that is not flatly indispensable. My Brother is off to Lancashire, towards London, this morning: for me it seems likeliest that I may try to sleep here with all diligence till Saturday afternoon,1 and then have myself wheeled into the Liverpool Steamer at Annan, and so forwarded by Birmingham and the utmost velocity of human mechanism,2 home to Chelsea again,—there to repent of my sins, and turn over a new leaf if it be possible!

Truly it grieves me to come to this conclusion; but there is at present no help. Next time I come hitherward, I must take you first, before ever seeing Scotland: that will perhaps answer better. At present I am a totally unprofitable servant;—full of vain regrets that man, that at least one man, is not a Spirit, able to travel like his own Thoughts: but lodged in a beggarly body, unfit for travelling at all.

Adieu, dear Spedding. May the Highest Power, for whom there is at present no NAME but a canting ghost of a name, watch over you in very fact forevermore! I commend myself with true affection and many regrets and wishes to you all.

T. Carlyle.