The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 12 September 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400912-TC-JAC-01; CL 12: 255-256


Chelsea, 12 Septr, 1840—

Dear Brother,

Erskine's place is a country house, Linlathen, some four or five miles from Dundee, to the north and inland, as I understand it. He is there at present; but not often there; never takes kindly to it.— So far as I remember, the coast there is not attractive; clear sea-water is all it boasts of, if even of that. Dundee is a dirty smoky place; a minor Liverpool. Broughty Ferry1 is nearer Linlathen; a diffused village, with streets of loose sand. If you name yourself to Erskine, he will welcome you. Most probably I shall be writing to him in a day or two, and mention this chance there is of you.

On the whole, you do well not to go to Orkney. Choose where you will; the world is all before you where to choose!2 St Andrews I should esteem a fine quiet old City, with Professors of their kind, with books, with venerable old edifices and reminiscences. It stands on a tongue of land, thro' which no road can pass.3 A kind of Scotch Cathedral Town; nothing like it elsewhere. I have often thought of it, looking out over the ocean, grim, forsaken, in its old stone-coat,—Saint Andrew's bones still availing it so much. Or the finest sea of all I have yet seen,—it is the North Coast of the Frith of Forth about Inverkeithing or between that and Burntisland. You are solitary enough; yet Edinburgh across the pure water lies in sight, accessible in two or three hours. I would not have much sailing more, if I were in your place, this year.

Whitherward you bend for the winter, will be an interesting question for us. Why not Ryde or the South of Wight, not out of reach of us here? In two months when the canaille [rabble] of Cockneydom is home again, it will be a right pleasant place.

I take kindly to my repose here; am in better humour than yesterday; shall gather new strength if well let alone. Our weather is as good as need be. I am in my grey gown up here; window open, and the temperature much to my mind so.

You will write again directly. I have written to my Mother today; sent your news, but not your Letter.

Adieu, dear Brother!

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle