October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 6 October 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451006-TC-JCA-01; CL 20: 14-15


Scotsbrig, Monday, 6 Octr 1845—

Dear Jean,

I am much obliged by your Note; and doubly so by your keeping off of that “Troubadour,” who would have been a very awkward customer here at present!— Mr Johnston1 deserves thanks too for his good sense in that matter.

I got your Letter on Middlebie Brae yesterday morning; we have a Post now that brings our Letters on, daily at 10 o'clock, to Backburn. I took a very long walk in the bright beautiful morning with your news in my pocket; met our Mother and Jamie bound to the Preaching, and gave them notice of you,—for my route lay (after Middlebie) by the Rig, by Langtether, and the silent moors far and wide.2 This day I have sat some 5 hours correcting an Index; the last botheration I am to have with that Book of mine: I could have written more at large but for that long detention within doors: daylight is now very nearly gone.

As for health I am certainly no worse since I came to the country; possibly a little better; but it would take a long spell of country to make any impression on so tough a subject. Our Mother too is fully as well as when you saw her,—has been busy all day assisting Jenny to wash: we all do very tolerably well except when the rain grows excessive; then it flattens our spirits a little! During the last Sixty-Hours bout, which sent the sheaves floating past your windows, we were very ill off here too. But the last two days have been bright as diamonds, two of the beautifullest days of the year; to expect a third, I doubt, would be rather too much!— My Mother daily praises the Toaster; laments, however, that you had to send your own away to us, and still worse that you're “no paid yet,”—“neither for it nor for the paper!

Jack is gone into his old Lodgings at Chelsea; continues to intimate, however, that he will be down in this part, “later in the Season”; November, I suppose.— As for me I at one time thought of being off this week; then the beautiful bright weather struck out;—and if that were to continue! It is a real truth, I was not far from taking my umbrella, and bundling off to Dumfries this day on foot. But the Proofsheet came; then the Cattle-shew suggested itself.3— Good night, dear Jean. I will not yet say Farewell: if the weather hold up, it is almost certain I shall see you again. Love to James & the rest. Your affe Brother / T. Carlyle