Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Carlyle in Gweedore


Ballyare, Rathmelton,1 Thursday 02 Augt, 1849—

My dear Brother,

Here I am safe since last night in Ld George Hill's Establishment; just about proceeding to Gweedore, which is some 20 miles off thro' the mountains to the sea-coast: in half an hour we are to be under way, and my packing is not yet done, so I must be brief!

The day before yesterday I got your Letter at Sligo, the Newspaper the night before, which latter I returned for a sign. All has gone well with me, and indeed I feel generally well in health, and getting forward with good success towards the end of my Irish Tour. At Castlebar (did I tell you?) Forster shot in upon Duffy and me, proceeding really almost like a cannon-ball, with such velocity had he come from Rawdon; and hit us just in the nick of time; for in five minutes more we shd have been off by another coach. A very welcome rencounter!

Yesterday we all started together from Sligo; Forster we left at Donegal, some 40 miles of road done, to prosecute his way to Gweedore by the Coast, where I expect to find him under Lord George's escort today;—then forward some 20 miles Duffy and I rode together, thro' the Gap of Barnesmore, on our Public Derry Car; about a mile from Stranorlar (16 miles off this), a fat figure in grey hodden, and rather hairy about the chin, met us, cried, “Ya it is all right!” and took to running with us: It was poor Plattnauer! He had come thus far to meet me; he had luncheon laid out in the Inn at Stranorlar,2 cars all ready, tobacco &c—poor fellow;—and so I came along much at my ease to this quiet abode, and found myself in moorings again, mildly and cordially welcomed, about 6½ p.m. I have slept well since; and now “his Lordship” (an excellent mild pious yet soldier-like little man) will drive us both over in his Car, and “shew us the Gweedore.” Forster I am to introduce to him; we pass the night at the Inn; return on the morrow hither,—Forster will go to some Inn, I opine, for this of mine is the only spare bed in this frugal very curious place!—and on Saturday we are to rally at a certain Mr Otway's (a squire of some degree on Loch Swilly, whom we have seen),3 and on Monday after 7 miles travel we are to be in Derry, if all go right,—and find word from you and others. Pray forward this immediately to Jane, for I have not an instant today.— And observe farther a request: If you have a spare Copy of your Dante about you, pray address it, “[E?]. Plattnauer Esq” (to this place),4 I think six stamps will carry it: and nobody will be prouder of it, or read it more carefully and worthily. I have promised this to poor P.; so pray do it. And if you have no copy, write to Chapman with 6 stamps inclosed, and bid him do the thing: what expense there is I will joyfully make good.

And so good be with you all, dear Brother, dear Mother and all the rest of you. The Belfast Steamer, I doubt, will do little for me; but at Derry we shall see. One way or other, I hope to be at Scotsbrig now before many days! Adieu: this night has been wet, and a Scotch-mist still hangs about; but towards noon (10½ now is the time) we hope it will clear off. Love to my dear good Mother and to them all

Your affecte

T. Carlyle

No comments:

Post a Comment