The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 28 August 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410828-TC-JWC-01; CL 13: 229-230


Scotsbrig, Saturday [28 August 1841]—

My dear Bairn,

Perhaps there may be a Letter from you today; but at all events I must write one word. One word: for I awoke at 4 (owing to these new potatoes,—my blessings on them!), I have castor in me; and in the whirl of recollections, it started up glaring on me in the dark wind, that I had never written poor Weir the certificate Craik demanded of me!1 My Mother too fell very unwell yesterday (happily better again, tho' still weak), and there is on all hands confusion enough. I hope my poor Jane has slept, and is well, and will be well till I return.

Spedding's Letter, which is here, awaited me at Ecclefechan: I have written that I am to go by Carlisle on Monday. Do you address to me there.— The trunks are all here; safe apparently; Mary also reported that your two rings were safe in the hands of Ellen.2 The old Solway steamer, which saved those wrecked men, is herself a wreck this week: my Mother was in great anxiety about Ellen; but that is not Ellen's ship at all. The people were all saved, but many Irish cattle had to be thrown overboard and perish.3

A Letter from Fraser's Brother explains that there is no hope for poor James; who has returned three weeks ago to his Mother's house in Argyle street, and is composedly dying there! Alas poor James!—

Jenny and her children had left this the day before my arrival, and returned to her blockhead man. Her conclusion had been that she could not yet quit him: who shall say that the poor creature was wrong? I am heartily sorry for her, but can do nothing except altogether hold my tongue.

In looking in my trunk yesterday, I found the fatallest deficiency of collars; only five washed or unwashed, and three of them very ragged and unserviceable! Isabella, called to counsel, got her sister4 set on, and there are six new ones to be ready and dressed this night. My Mother had failed in certain flannel shirts; happily only one was made at all: I keep it, and the other two uncut, for you and Ellen. I wish I were off and back!— If there be a Letter at Ecclefn, I will add a stroke below the address. Remember Greta Bank,5—and so adieu now!

T. C.