July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO LADY SANDWICH ; 4 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580804-TC-LS-01; CL 34: 95-96


The Gill, near Annan N.B. / 4 Augt, 1858—

Dear Lady Sandwich,

I wish I could provoke you to write me a little Note about what you are doing, and how going on. One definite glimpse I had, thro' Lord Ashburton last week: you were “better again, and out at Addiscombe,” he just going to join you,—he did not say whether you wd continue long. Nor in fact have I heard at all as I wanted: my poor Wife has been so extremely weak all this while; unable to keep my small circle present to me in such measure as she was wont.

Of myself and my history I can say nothing; said “history” having been literally zero: “six weeks of nightmare sleep,” as I sometimes define it. I have ridden extensively on the waste Solway sands; thro' old Scottish lanes, and wildernesses, full of old meaning to me: I have in general said nothing; felt and remembered only too many things. Some tolerable Books I had;—of whh let me recommend two if you don't know them otherwise: Tourgueneff: Scènes de la Vie Russe & his Souvenirs d'un Chasseur (both full of Russian novelties, and both by a man of real faculty & worth),—and see that you get the right Translation (that is the last, just published)1 of these Souvenirs, for there is a wrong one.2 I also liked Béranger's Ma Biographie; and Mignet's Marie Stuart (so far as I have gone): but these two you probably know already.

I am speculating now about a run to Germany: four weeks, to see the Battlefields (at least) of an unfortunate King Fritz fallen to me unfortunate! But it is quite uncertain whether I dare undertake such an adventure,—with the horrible remembrance of Trough-beds3 & German Etceteras still so vivid in me! So soon as the weather is cool enough, I hope to be back in London,—and that you will perhaps be in Grosvenor Square4 again, accessible in the solitary season?—

Last time I quitted these parts it was on a certain Highland Journey:5 a thing never to be forgotten by me; nor ever to be repeated, I believe!— We have to take what a Higher is pleased to appoint, in all things; and be silent,—not forbidden to hope. God bless you, dear Lady; and strengthen you for all the loads you have to bear.

I end by asking a little Note from you, the first day you have leisure. Yours every truly

T. Carlyle