April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 21 September 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440921-TC-LAAL-01; CL 18: 219-220


Chelsea, 21 Septr, 1844—

Dear Lady Ashburton,

This is not yet the “Posthumous Letter,” which I hope is still at some distance; this is a little Note to announce to you that I arrived safe; that the beneficent Phantom Gig, the rail-train, and all earthly and celestial propulsive powers were beneficent and kind to me, on my way to and at and from The Grange;—and that I have many many thanks to render you for the happy time I had there. Certainly I shall not soon forget The Grange. I was very sick of body while among you, and sleepless, and oppressed by chaos, as the Son of Adam is apt to be; and yet happier than I can remember for a long while back. Let us be thankful to the Heavenly Powers, and their servants here on Earth!—

Among the litter of my Papers I have found you three Autographs, if you judge them worthy a place in your Collection. There is but one of the man whom I judge to be, even in a small way, of a perennial character; and he, I am happy to acknowledge, is your Countryman.1 The others too are persons of worth, more or less,—as it pleases God. Varnhagen is known to the Lady Harriet; she, when she comes home again full of German Literature, will read you his Note,—and find it most probably a hollow nut.

I desire my very kind remembrances to Lord Ashburton, whose social cigars and friendly communings are, and will be, pleasant to me to think of. Will the two young Ladies accept my regrets that I did not see them at parting?2 Will Miss Baring revise certain of her opinions, especially about the Chimera “Martyr,”3 and produce them in an improved state next time?—

You can tell Lady Harriet that my Friend Sterling has quitted all his sorrows; his Transiency has become an Eternity,—beautiful, I will hope, as the swift transient Life itself was. He died on Wednesday night, the night before I left you;—unexpectedly at last, and to appearance without pain. To my mind it is like the setting of a summer sun; beautiful even to tears.

Adieu, dear Lady Ashburton. I will wish fair weather and all good things to The Grange and its kind inmates. With many thanks and regards

I remain always / Yours very sincerely

T. Carlyle