January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO HENRY INGLIS; 16 December 1830; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18301216-TC-HI-01; CL 5:197-198.


Templand Thornhill, 16th December 1830.

My Dear Sir;

I write you a single line here, in the middle of bustle and tumult, to remind you of your promised vis[i]t at Christmas. We shall be at home then, and truly gratified to see you. Any one of three or four Dumfries Coaches will set you down, at few hours' warning within fifteen miles of us; and the ancient charioteer of the King's Arms is still, as we ocularly saw lately, urging his rapid wheels.1 Nay could I precisely know your time, I should think nothing to meet you with Harry (your invaluable namesake) in harness, and drive you up in our own old vehicle.

My wife says that you are to leave that villainous reeky Town and world for a few days, and fly into the moorland city of refuge, where nothing but quietude and friendliness awaits you. Come then, and let us hear, and see you.

We see a strange foolish story in the Newspapers about a Sister of yours, which we would fain treat as a piece of knavish mystification; were not the fact too likely that Mrs M. is missing, and her friends do feel themselves in pain and alarm.2 We hope you have already got some light on the matter: at all events, do not torment yourself too much; your Sister to all appearance is personally safe, and even not unhappy; and for the foolish Publicity of the business, it is but a nine-days wonder, and will do no permanent hurt to her or any one. We still hope the best.

Come if you can, and be sure of our best welcome. Adding kindest regards from the Leddy, I remain, / My Dear Sir, / Affectionately Your's,

Thomas Carlyle—