The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 19 September 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410919-TC-JAC-01; CL 13: 257-258


Tynemouth, Northumberland, / Sunday Night (19th?) Septr [1841]

My dear Brother,

For the last three days that Letter of yours containing your future Brighton address has been mislaid among the miscellanea of my pockets: but tonight I have laid hands on it; and just before setting forth from this angle of our pilgrimage I will throw you a word to say how and whither we are and have been bound.

We left Scotsbrig for London by this oblique route on Thursday morning last. Jane had been promised a visit to Miss Martineau in passing: the road seemed so confused, uncertain, that on the whole I found I should go with her. We arrived here, by gig, by railway and omnibus about 8 that same Thursday evening. We were to stay only two nights: but our lodging was so comfortable, the sea and weather were so beautiful, we decided to make it four nights. And so now here we are at the fourth and last; poor Harriet taken leave of; packing done, supper itself finished, and a long journey either to Leeds or to Derby before us on the morrow. We must leave this soon after nine; we start from Newcastle by some coach about 11 for Darlington, a space of 30 miles; there at half past 3 the rail-way receives us, and I must learn from persons better skilled whether Leeds or Derby will be the eligible place to night at. The next day, Tuesday, if all go well, we shall be at Chelsea, and these chaotic wanderings all behind us.— This is essentially all I had to write.

The three days I have spent here have been, as near as I could make them, altogether vacant silent ones. To Jane I willingly gave up as much as possible of Harriet's speech; contenting myself with that of the blue sea and the autumn winds. I have bathed daily; I have visited rocks insulated and cavernous; today I had a four-hours walk, over a fine Scotch-looking region, with many endimanchés1 visible, the strange semi-Annandale dialect of them audible, garnished with the burr, on all hands of me. It is frightfully smoky; one land of soot and reek: otherwise a very pretty land. Poor Miss Martineau seems to me not better but weaker than when I saw her last. She gives me real pain, as I now look upon her,—her very cheerfulness, so creditable to herself, is painful to me.

All was as before at Scotsbrig; Jamie begun to shear; my Mother much worn by anxieties about Jenny, but otherwise in her common health. It is settled now that Jenny is to go to Gill as soon as the house is ready, that is in about a week hence; Rob was to sail for America (would he were fairly there!) “on Tuesday” from Liverpool. It was far the best arrangement we could make. Ah me, ah me!— But let us look before, not behind. We must part with friends, if we have met them.— My dear Brother, I will give you my best blessing and good night, with hopes of soon seeing you.

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle