January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 29 September 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450929-TC-JWC-01; CL 19: 225-226


Scotsbrig, 29 Septr 1845.

Thanks, dear little Goody, for thy assiduity in corresponding with an unworthy man! These Letters are my chief source of Christian comfort1 at present. I find them lying at the Weaver's Cottage at Backburn2 in the morning at ten, or the boys bring them over to me thro' the mud; and a treasure they are to begin the day upon. I found one yesterday; another they brought me today: in fact I do not deserve it, for there will be none at Chelsea for thee today,—none till tomorrow morning, owing to a mistake! Continue to write, and I will do as much for you another time.

That night after sending off my last letter, on Saturday it was, I set out in the Twilight for a long muddy walk. I went by Satter up to the Galls-Moss (hardly known to Goody?); turned then along the Glasgow Road; walked by Pennersaughs, by Ecclefechan, and home that way:3 some 8 miles in all. I passed thro' old localities, like a ghost, and very much in the humour of one; past the Pennersaughs Churchyard where my Grandfather and great-grandfather (the farthest ancestor I can name) lie buried;4 past Mein Brig, where I have burned whins [gorse] and done exploits in fishing eels, and in other things—ay de mi! It was better than many sermons; sweet tho' very sad. I had been busy with my Index; next day too, yesterday tho' Sunday, I was very busy,—fireless, in wet windy weather: Jamie and I walked another 8 miles after dark that night. It was only today that I fairly finished that miserable Index (all but looking once again at it, when once in the shape of sheets), and despatched it by the midday mail. I have now had dinner and a little walk; and the night is sinking again;—blustery, with some showers. Tomorrow I shall have to write to Alick. So pass my days here.— Today there are four Tailors here; all busy for me. Mother and Jenny, moreover, are sewing hard at flannels and night-shirts. We shall surely be furnished out before long!—

The German Note yesterday was from that distracted Governess's English friend:5 I already had her pamphlets;—I have not yet even read her Note, but merely stuck it in my pocket.— The unread Note that came today you have now here;—and there is something to be done with it. To wit, I have forgotten Mrs Rich's Address! You must find that for me; put the two Notes as you now find them in a cover for Mrs Rich, and instantly despatch them. On reading them, you will see why. I have already written to the French Official “George Olfer” or whatever his name is.6 But for Mlle Daulion, a small possibility of turning a penny might have presented itself here.

Tomorrow Jamie has to be off for Dumfries Rood Fair to sell horses. Isabella threatens to die if he go! He, after consideration, has decided that he should, must and will go. One of poor Isabella's saddest whims is that of keeping him forever by her side tho' she can speak only in signs to him. I am heartily sorry for her, and for him. He seems very kind to her, and humours her to all lengths; but has decided on stopping here.—— Take care of thyself dear Goody, in these battles with moths and Dirt! Let me find thee well, and still loving me! Gehab Dich wohl, Liebe [Farewell, dear one]!

T. C.