The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO CHARLES REDWOOD ; 29 August 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500829-TC-CR-01; CL 25: 180


Scotsbrig, Eccelfechan 29 Augt 1850

Dear Redwood,

Today your handwriting appears on two Newspapers, and reminds me of hospitable Boverton, whh at any rate I was not disposed to forget. One word of kind farewell to it, of authentic notice that I am actually here far away from it.

My four hours waiting among the green fields of Llantrissaint1 were accomplished with a patience which you would have called heroic: I got out a Book, and Tobacco, and, spreading my pea jacket by way of carpet, lay down on the sunward side of a solitary bush. At Glo'ster, where the Surgeon was nigh desperate seeking me (for it was now 9 p.m.), I did no good at all; to eat was out of my power, to sleep do; after a sunday of miserable headache and donothingism, I decided to try a night journey to Birmingham, and there accordingly I did both “eat two eggs,” and sleep in spite of frightful noises. The Liverpool Steamer, of Monday Night, was frightful! But perhaps it is good for one to become acquainted with practical Irish reapers, Border Cattle-jobbers, and Commercial “gents,” in a crowded condition; and to form some image, grounded on experience, of “the horrors of the middle Passage” such as Niggers feel. I sat on deck, a mere onlooker, refusing to speak or partake: in fine about 2 o'clock next day that also ended; and, like Jonah from the Whale's Belly, I saw myself, with gratitude to Heaven, flung ashore here, with friendly presences once more around me, and thots and emotions such as no other scene in all this Planet, or in all this Universe belike, cd awaken in me! Here I mean to rest for a ten days or more,—in fact for an uncertain period; after whh also my future movements are extremely uncertain. In my life, I think, I never felt so heartworn and wayworn, and utterly weary in body and soul,—desiring rest only; rest if it were that of death (whh latter imagine will not fail any of us).— Thousand thanks to you, dear Redwood, for what you gave me, and took from me, with such friendly patience: a friendlier face I am not likely to see soon on my travels! Good be ever with you. Friendly regards to Dumpy & Madge.2 And will remain / Ys always T. Carlyle