January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO THOMAS STORY SPEDDING ; 20 September 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450920-TC-TSS-01; CL 19: 204-205


Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan 20 Septr, 1845—

Dear Spedding,

I am here since Friday gone a week; but in no travelling condition; in fact altogether out of spirits, and out of order every way; and do not think of going farther into Scotland at present, or indeed of going anywhither, except unwillingly into Nithsdale where I have some business to do,—and then home again to Chelsea to hide myself in a corner there. This country is infinitely mournful to me; but I feel least annoyed when left entirely alone, to saunter about the moors here, and converse with the ghosts of the Past after my own fashion. I am very sorry to see little or no prospect of meeting with you even in Cumberland on this occasion; one of the few men whom it is really solacing to me to meet with! But we cannot help it.1

The Book on Cromwell is done; and is worth next to nothing when done. One poor man avails not against the stupidity of a Nation for two hundred years. There will be no recognition of Cromwell till another generation than this arise. I sometimes think I may have turned a little running brook in upon the obscene dung-mountains, whereby they may at last be swum away, and the face of Oliver and his earnest time laid bare from them: but this also I do not know for certain; neither indeed need one specially care. I have got done with a most disgusting piece of labour; which, in so far as it was pious and honest, will not be useless to myself at any rate. And so, let us rest a little in the mute wilderness here, and then to the road again.— —

If the Secretary2 is with you, remember me to him as one that in all places loves him. You, I hope, will come to London before long; I could like right well to see you again. Yours ever truly (in much haste to-day),

T. Carlyle