April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO WILLIAM STIRLING; 5 September 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490905-TC-WS-01; CL 24: 219


Glen Truim House, Kingussy 5 Septr, 1849—

Dear Stirling,

I am actually up in this Highland Country; meaning to pass southward again before long,—and within wind of Keir by one possible route, as Farie often assured me when we parted last. Of this latter fact I know almost nothing myself; still less of the other essential question, Whether you will be at Keir about the time of my transit?—but I am willing to investigate, as you perceive, and to give myself the chance if there be a good one.

Pray tell me, therefore, where you are to be about the middle and latter half of this month; and also (if you know) what the Perth and Keir time-tables say of trains by rail,—especially whether any conceivable train, or set of arrangements, would save me the horror of sleeping at a Perth Inn; a deliverance for which, of itself, I ought to make a tolerable circuit. But I fear, Not, as to this latter point: our only available Coach out of these parts arrives in Perth rather after 8 p.m., they say; after which there is reported to be no train westward? Say a word of that too, when your hand is in. I was really sorry you could not come to Linlathen; sorry I have so often missed you, if you really want to see me: in a peaceable environment at Keir, there are plenty of things I could like to say to you and hear from you.

This is not much of a country, except for grouse and other vermin, this Highland scene of English hospitality and sportsmanship! Thank God that you are no killer of grouse, for one thing. The only legitimate “hunter” that I now know of is, to me evidently, the ratcatcher: all others, in these countries and epochs, are spurious in very fact, and sportsmen, not craftsmen as every man is bound to be!

The Address is as above, “Glen Truim” &c with the addition, not quite indispensable perhaps, of “The Lord Ashburton's” name; a good man (in spite of his grouse) with whom I hope to make you acquainted some day.

With many kind regards / Yours always truly / T. Carlyle