July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JOSEPH NEUBERG ; 16 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580816-TC-JN-01; CL 34: 129-130


The Gill, near Annan / 16 Augt, 1858—

Dear Neuberg,—Excuse this coarse bit of paper; it is the only one at hand that will consent to be written upon with the perverse materials I have: and my hurry to save the Post is very great.

There is to be a visiting of Frh's Battlefields, taliter qualiter [one way or the other], after all! The enterprise, I confess, seems horrible to me: but a certain uneasy feeling,—something connected with literary conscience among other more questionable elements,—urges me forward; and it must be done. One Foxton (an acquaintance of Tait's whom you may know) is to start with me from Lieth,1 on Saturday evg (21st Augt 7 p.m.) for Hamburg; where if all prosper we are to be on Monday night (very late, I suspect); after whh our movement is direct upon Halle (with intent on Torgau2 and on Rosbach from that centre); after which to Dresden, to Prag, to Breslau, to Frankfurt on the Oder; successive centres, which complete the operation if well done. Foxton knows nothing about the subject; and I think is not unlikely to strike off for Weimar (where Wilson,3 his acquaintance, may more invite) from the Halle or Dresden region: going or staying, he is a social intelligent fellow, thorough gentleman in habits and character; speaks a little German;—and will conform to my wishes either going or staying. There is even talk of my Brother joining us somewhere on the route; but that is not very certain. I write now to apprise you of this; and ask whether you have any heart for joining in such an adventure. You, I am well aware, would be worth all the others in practical help to me: but perhaps you are too deep in your motionless humours at Kissingen4 or elsewhere; and would not except on harder compulsion tear up your moorings? In which case I should be sorry; but wd have to submit. This thing has not been too well managed! In fact it has hung idly vague, these many weeks (for some insufficient reasons); and now it comes tumbling home all in a heap,—the more is the pity for me, whose blame also it partly is.— Write at any rate: Halle (24th or 25th Augt) is the first “Poste restante”: the rest Dresden, Prag &c follow in the order above given; at what distances of days you nearly as well guess as I. I think you will be best within reach at Dresden,—or almost as well at Prag, where our real difficulties begin. Happy enough shd I be to see you at Halle itself! But I must take what is arranged.

My Brother is in London since a week or so; uncertain whitherward for a little while next. My Wife has been on the Hampshire sea-coast for a week or two; whh has done her so much good that she now proposes taking Scotland shortly, and passing the Autumn (till my return or later) with some quiet friends in this region. I am not in brillt spirits, brilliant condition of body or of mind; far enough from it: but I do believe myself to have improved in health a little; at any rate, solitude and idleness could do no more for me. Enough. Let us hear of you, or if possible see you, somewhere in the above route!

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle