August 1843-March 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 17


TC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 5 August 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430805-TC-JW-01; CL 17: 12-13


Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan, Saturday 5 Augt., 1843.

DEAR COUSIN JEANNIE,—Very probably our Doctor gave you some account of my embarkation; what a wretched, sleepy, muddy, confused piece of dim, drowsy squalor it was: nevertheless, thanks to the good bright sunshine, and the silence of all human babblement and business that could concern me, I got along unexpectedly well, and made on the whole an average voyage of it. What ought not to be forgotten, is that Alick's man had done his full duty to the luggage and message, delivering both to the Captain in a most punctual manner—as I discovered towards night when near Annan: the Steward and most other persons had been asleep when the said luggage and message had been received by the Captain; at my arrival, the Captain was gone to sleep, the sailor in charge was nearly altogether drunk, and the steward, only half awake, in that dim element, had never heard of me before! A bed and berth, too, had been secured for me, as I discovered when near Annan! The remedy is, no man should go in these vehicles except by day.

Having arrived here, I decide with my whole soul and body on lying down to sleep for a moderate while! It is a thing I have pressing need of. Further is not yet decided.

As for you, good Babby, I think you should hasten off to Helensburgh while the weather is good, while at least the day is long, and there “enjoy Nature” a little,—and if you have any leisure at all, read “in the works of your parent”1 till you have completed them!

Pray give that letter to our Doctor in the meanwhile. In his uncertainty he named Maryland Street as his Post Office. And forget not hearty compliments to your Brother Alick my kind landlord, and Brother John who is too unwilling to sing. Among the multitudes of things that begin to dawn on me into distinctness out of the confusion of the last four weeks, I do not think there will be a prettier little spectacle anywhere, or “image of the mind,” than that of a certain little cousin of mine, whom you poor foolish child know nothing about, tho' living so close to her!

And so be a good girl, and may a blessing always be with you, dear little Jeannie.

Your affectionate