July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO LORD ASHBURTON ; 28 July 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580728-TC-LOA-01; CL 34: 80


The Gill, Cummertrees Annan, 28 july 1858

Dear Lord Ashburton,

The thing I would not write about yesterday, nor mingle with any other topic, was this.

About the 10th of May gone a year,—the first time I drove with you to Addiscombe after an Event which can never be forgotten,1—you took from your pocket a little Paper, drawn up as you said in far other days; in which was some bequest, to me, among others: a fact infinitely affecting to me. What words I said in reply, I have quite forgotten,—probably few or none of a distinctly articulate sort;— I suppose you mistook the purport of such silence (which was far from meaning refusal); or still likelier, you fancied afterwards the thing had been executed straightway then, and forgot it afterwards. At any rate, it has never turned up between us since that day; and of late I have begun to see that I must some day speak of it again myself,—under a penalty whh would be heavy upon you, if you ever came to know of it, as well as upon me who do always know it, and specifically remember it from time to time. No wish or command of hers but must be sacred to whoever was the object of it.

I have had a certain weak reluctance to write (and of course never once mentioned the matter to living soul); but at length I have here written, and so it is done.

I am ever / Yours Sincerely /

T. Carlyle