The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO ARTHUR HELPS; 7 August 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510807-TC-AH-01; CL 26: 121


Gt Malvern, 7 Augt, 1851

Dear Helps,

I was sorry to get your Letter here instead of at Chelsea. For the whole week before my going off, I was kept, what with Printers just finishing off, what with Bores to the Wind-dustry of all Nations, in such a toss of hurries and confusions, additional to those of the business itself, that I had no moment of repose; and durst not ask myself whether there was any chance to see you or not. Had your note come during that week, it might have been like a lantern kindled for a bewildered owl, and had very probably brought me, at that or some other hour, to Chester Square:1 but as it is—!

We got hither last Saturday night; are lodged beautifully in the private mansion of the great Doctor himself (an honour done to Literature and to Dyspepsia); and till the last day of August, here I continue, ready for any amount of splashing, sleeping, and macerating. I have some hope to get a real temporary benefit; and I have the perfect certainty of fairly trying this same Water-Cure, and so having done with the speculation upon it.

The place is by nature one of the pleasantest: beautiful wide blooming corn-bearing Plain of Severn, beautiful range of porphyry or granite hills (on the eastern roots of which we hang), with the finest variety of walks, and spring water everywhere such as I have not tasted out of Cumberland or Scotland. For the rest, a population of Donothings, with attendants to help: new houses building everywhere, of the villa,—or what I cd call the “Willa”2 sort, and all done in the present style of Willa architecture, Willa granite (made of plaster and paint), dirty little Willa windows (all of stone and lead), Willa everything;—surely the ugliest form of building ever prac[ti]ced by Adam's Posterity.—Adieu dear Helps. Yrs always

T. Carlyle