January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JAMES HOPE STEWART ; 4 April 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420404-TC-JHST-01; CL 14: 120-121


Templand, 4 April, 1842—

My dear Sir,

I hope you have returned safe out of Perthshire; and found your little Boy recovering or recovered. Our Coaches here go eastward only in the afternoon; so that on Tuesday night I did not find you, and on Wednesday I learned that there was no chance of finding you. The Tuesday night was the unluckiest; for I had as good as nothing else to have occupied me.

My sleep at the Commercial Inn was so infested by early Bagmen and their Boots that I (who am the poorest of sleepers, even apart from Bagmen) decided on getting back to Templand that night, and on not trying to sleep there again except in case of urgency. Once more in Dumfries I believe I must be: but I shall try to make a day's visit serve; and which day, except that probably it may be among the latest allowable, is not yet fixed.

This current week terminates the quiet part of my existence here; and on the Thursday following, all is to dissipate itself in Sale by Auction: no home, not even an unquiet one, here for me any more. I should have liked well could we have driven to Craigenputtoch together: but in your present state of occupation, I fear it will not be possible within my time?

Still however I must contrive to see you again, somewhere or other. Most likely I shall be in Annandale for a day of two before returning Southward: we have still a fortnight to work upon, and will not give it up.

M'Diarmid's Clerk, attempting to extricate the Craigenputtoch advertisements from your account, declared at last that you had already paid some of them; that for the moment he could not manage it! Will you be so kind as take order about this, and let me get the poor man paid. I am to see him again,—probably about this day week.

A certain very lazy-paced, stingy-looking, flegmy old man, called Irving, once Farmer of Locherben,1 was here one day, inquiring about the “sale of certain lands” (alluding to Craigenputtoch): all my remarks he answered with a deep-throated long-drawn “A-a-a-ye!”—and was slow to depart, tho' I told him that you alone could throw light on the matter for him. Evidently nothing whatever will come of the old blockhead:—A-a-aye!

Adieu my dear Sir, for this Night.

Yours always truly /

T. Carlyle