January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JAMES CARLYLE ; 1 April 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420401-TC-JC-01; CL 14: 109-110


Templand, Friday, 1 April, 1842

Dear Jamie,

Matters go on at a snail's pace with me here, nobody but myself caring how slow they proceed. I have never yet got any final bargain about the House with the Jardines or with anybody. The Mr Moffat you heard of did offer what I considered reasonable terms, and seemed a man of good breeding and discretion, whom I should have liked to treat with; but the pigheaded Jardine would not quit his land except he got—£100! Such was his modest proposal; whereupon Moffat instantly withdrew altogether. I found moreover that I should have some application to make to “the Duke” before I could be allowed to bargain at all. This is accordingly done; the answer daily expected; and so the matter hangs for the present. I find it intolerable to wait, wait and higgle-haggle in this manner: so I decide on getting on with the sale at any rate. The Auctioneer is to [be]1 here, for the second time today; I fancy we shall get an advertisement in the next Courier, and then in the next; and have the Roup perhaps this day fortnight.

According to this computation the ensuing week will be the last quiet one I shall have. It strikes me that if the weather were moderate, and my Mother were brought hither over the Hills, she might spend a few days with me here: perhaps I shall not afterwards have so quiet an opportunity of seeing her again on this occasion. You and Alick can judge whether it will be likely to do her mischief to travel at present: Monday, Tuesday, or any of the days,—you might choose a good day. I address myself to you and Alick, and will leave you to examine my Mother and decide for us.— I myself shall need to be at Dumfries again; and I am for the present become one of the worst travellers in these parts; I will make as little motion serve me as I can for a while.

On Tuesday last I went down to Dumfries; I calculated on staying till the Coach could bring me up again on Thursday morning; but I prospered so ill, sleeping at the Commercial Inn that I decided on getting done with all business early on Wednesday, and walking home again in the afternoon;—which I accordingly did: not a very good job, with the roads so muddy; but I at least got out of the way of Bagmen, Boot-jacks and other the like cattle, and had a quiet sleeping-place. My business (except the seeing of Stewart who was not there) lay all tolerably finished behind me; I had seen Adamson, Corson, the Slater &c, and settled everything as well as I could.

Jane writes me pretty constantly; I find her still very weak, but going on to improve, I think. There is a Letter from her, this morning; and one from Jack, which latter I enclose2

The little Chair was sent off on Wednesday; I hope it arrived safe at Ecclefechan by Jardine. It seems, that was not the right chair after all; there was another here that I was to send! We shall certainly see what rectification may be still possible in that. The little chair that is sent could have gone nowhither else except to Scotsbrig; that is one good point.

My arm is still rather feckless, and does not gather strength very fast; but neither does it trouble me much: it is not at all painful except when I stretch it the wrong way too suddenly.

Has anything been settled about Jenny yet? Jean thinks she might do well, get sewing work &c in a room immediately above hers in Dumfries. The Austins, at any rate, ought to be brought to a bearing, of rent or no-rent; and her staying there or her going be decided accordingly.

Well, you and Alick will have to decide with my Mother. Send a word of writing at any rate. My love to one and all.— Your affectionate Brother. T. Carlyle.