The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 4 May 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410504-TC-JWC-01; CL 13: 126


Scotsbrig, Tuesday Evg [4 May 1841]

Dear Jeannie,

Do but read that poor letter of Harriet's; enough to make one almost cry. Poor Harriet! For it does not arrive here, till today at noon, when it has become flatly impossible to go.

I am accordingly off for Annan and Liverpool, tomorrow, to embark about 12 o'clock. If I get to Liverpool before 11 p. m. I will go and stay at Maryland Street, or at least try to do it; if after 11, I mean to make straight for the railway, and bowl on by the first train. I write a word to your Cousin Alick,1 to say this, and explain what went before. If Alick catch me, it will be thursday night; if he do not, we may hope thursday morning,—when I get home.

Poor Harriet, she will be sitting waiting me for tea; and it is to no purpose, for behold I do not go!— The “laudanum pro tempore [for the time being]” too: I am very wae about her.2

One counter sorrow is a kind of consolation: this day is very wet, and would have made sad travelling to Carlisle, had I gone.

Your Mother sent a gingerbread cake, and a considerable mass of entirely fat bacon. The cake I will bring carefully in the bottom of my portmanteau The bacon I have had tried, twice over, and found it naught,—seemingly a piece of the belly of some aged femal swine, which the Thornhill huckster had passed off as not bad and worst but superexcellent. I need not get a new box, or grease my clothes for that. I will leave that.

And so then, Thursday, thou little gypsey. I write no more; this is all the needful.

Thine /

T. Carlyle