July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO MARY ARNOLD ; 13 October 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471013-TC-MA-01; CL 22: 126-127


5. Cheyne Row, Chelsea, 13 Octr, 1847—

Dear Mrs Arnold,

When your kind message overtook me, I was actually present in the Lake Country; accomplishing a long-deferred visit to my good Friends the Speddings of Greta Bank: a visit brief and long-deferred; on my route homewards, too, from my Mother's, and other multifarious pilgrimages; my time all rigorously meted out,—due here in so many hours! I hoped that perhaps a drive to Fox How,1 to pay my grateful respects to you, might have been possible in one of my three days (for they were limited to three); but the weather proved entirely unpropitious; and even this could not be accomplished. Yesterday morning, I passed rapidly within a mile and half of you, as I was told; speeding what I could towards the Express Train; and could only glance up your beautiful Valley, and send you in silence many wishes and regrets. So has it ended, for the present. When I may return to that serene country of clear-gushing brooks and silent hills, doubly beautiful to a poor Prisoner in the brick Babylon, is very uncertain; but of course, when I do, Fox How will be vividly in my remembrance.

As it is, your Note has given and gives me great pleasure. One of the bright days of my life is, and remains always, the day I spent at Rugby,2 in which you also rise in my memory with a noble mournful significance, as well as that other3 whom we shall not meet any more on Earth. It is not by mean grieving, but with devout manful thoughts, that such remembrances should be hallowed.

May all good be with you, dear Mrs Arnold, and with those you love. I remain, with many true regards and thanks,

Yours always /

T. Carlyle