The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 6 August 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410806-TC-JAC-01; CL 13: 210-211


[ca. 6 August 1841]

bathing: we led behind us a little Shelty of Alick's, equal, small as it is, both to gigging and riding; in the evening we hipple dillied [limped slowly] again in the same style over to Gill; left the lame quadruped there at its home, and returned with the little Shelty, rather inexperienced in the reins, but whirring along as for the King's Hundred, like a little “industrious flea,” being really altogether rapid, and a wonder for its size. In all these expeditions, my Mother alone accompanied me; Jane being in no case for a drive, and greatly disapproving of our conveyance besides. Yesterday I rode with the little Shelty to Newbrigg,—silent, moist-green, curious for me to see; and in the beautiful evening we had to drive to Gill, in quest of milk. It is altogether a savage region this; no milk to be had in it except for love. Love, however, will bring it: and that I think is the last obstacle we have to triumph over, towards existing here for a week or two. I bathe daily, seem to get daily benefit of that; live in the most perfect solitude; very much à la Gipsy it is all, but wholesome, and a blessed change at any rate. On Sunday I walked up as far as Powfoot by the Shore path: nothing lonelier, duller, more like a dwellingplace of TORPOR could meet the eye of man: on one of the Knolls came the sound of Annan bell to me, laden with the memory of old years. Nobody knows me, at least ventures to know me; I enjoy the inexpressible privilege of being well let alone; the very Earth and Sea seeming to have nothing to say to me, except: Be quiet, we, thou seest, are changeless, dull as very mud!— Our Mother bathes daily, reads, “hems towels”; is very well. Poor Jane is far otherwise; sleepless, very poorly; she tried bathing, one day, but lamed her ancle on an ugly stone of the beach, and has done no good since The weather continues fair and favourable.

My Mother was up (in this garret which is hers) just now: she “thanks you for your Letter; wants to hear straightway how you like Dover”;—as, of