The Collected Letters, Volume 11


TC TO THOMAS AIRD ; 5 August 1839; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18390805-TC-TA-01; CL 11: 164-165


Templand, 5th Aug. 1839.

MY DEAR SIR,—You were expected here on Friday last; by me rather more confidently than perhaps your last words warranted; by Mrs Welsh and others more confidently still than that report of mine,—with a confidence of certainty namely; —Hope telling us all his usual ‘flattering tale!’1 Dr Russel [sic]2 was invited here to dine with you on Friday and had to dine without you; Dr Mundell of Wallace Hall3 had an invitation left for you to dine on Saturday, &c. &c.; and it was all a mere misreport and misapprehension of reports of the oral utterance of man, a most imperfect organ for representing the Future with, for even explaining the present with! Your letter arrived on Saturday morning with the newspaper, for which and its predecessor many thanks. Dr Russel, we learn, is also apprised of your true movements now. I grieve to say that on Friday next I have but little chance to be here. I am to be in Annandale on Wednesday or Thursday; so roll the bowls,—perversely for us. But my wife will be here, right glad to see you, and Mrs Welsh, and other friends. I hope to see you in passing through Dumfries some time after Friday; and that after Friday the future will not be poorer than the past has been, but richer, as it may well be.

I am not so well in health as I expected; nor is my wife at all very well. We must do the best we can. This piece of the Universe called Nithsdale, in this section of Eternity called August 1839, is very beautiful; doubly beautiful to me whose head has long simmered half-mad with brick wildernesses, dust, smoke, and loud-roaring confusion that meant little. Good be with you, my good friend.— Yours always truly,

T. Carlyle.