October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 18 July 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460718-TC-JCA-01; CL 20: 245-247


Chelsea, 18 july, 1846—

Dear Jean,

Here is a Canadian Letter, with news from Alick and his household, which I am to forward to you directly. All still intrinsically goes well with him in that quarter. Jack accompanies the Letter, with a very brief message to me that at Scotsbrig also all is in the usual state. There was a brief Note from Jenny too which had just arrived there, which farther assures me that at Dumfries there is nothing wrong. I had your Letter a while ago; for which I was greatly obliged to you: I meant to have answered sooner; but I have been, and still am, a good deal tumbled about by one thing and another; and have had much otherwise to write and arrange.

Just a fortnight ago Jane went off to Lancashire; in a rather weakly way, much worn down by the hot confusions of this place: she is with the Paulets ever since, and very quiet by the seashore; which, I hope, will by and by tell upon her; but as yet she does not report much improvement.— I myself am busy getting anchor lifted; decided to quit this scene of noise in about three days hence; but not yet very completely certain as to what mode of travel I shall adopt, or where my stages are to be. I feel a kind of call to get into green places for a few days, if possible into deep solitude and silence! I even think of getting a knapsack and stick, and setting out for a few days of walking; I have a terrible reluctance to any active adventure whatever; but this perhaps really would compose me a little,—perhaps I ought to do it! In any case, I must land at Seaforth House Liverpool some way or other not many days hence; over from which to Annandale & Nithsdale my course is not likely to be long delayed. The probablest way, after all, is that I shall stow myself like luggage, in the old fashion, into the Liverpool railway, and so be bowled along: that is the shortest plan, but it has grown very disgusting to me.— If you will send a Letter addressed “Mrs Paulet's, Seaforth House Liverpool,” in a week hence, I shall be very glad to see it. About Wednesday or Thursday I think I shall leave this, by one mode or another.

Today I sent off my Horse; he is now rolling along rapidly in a Railway Box for Liverpool! I think he will come over to Dumfriesshire at last; and end in the Rood Fair! I tried to sell him here; but there was no demand, no price attainable better than a country one. So I thought we might have a little more use of the Galloper (who can run well in harness too, and is a very respectable horse),—for Jane too has some thoughts of coming into Scotland, to visit East Lothian &c. The animal has been unwell in this hot weather and hard food, and is specially recommended to get abroad into grass.— When you write next, will you make James tell you what he gave for his Gig,—what the price of a reasonable stout well-going Gig in Dumfries may be: I believe the Horse (Bobus, we call him) might draw us along in such a vehicle;—and with the Dumfries prices we could compare those of Liverpool.

One of the items of luggage I am bringing with me is an oil Picture of myself for my Mother!1 It was drawn some years ago by Lawrence, and is really rather good,—infinitely better than common. It will need to be framed at Dumfries; and, I think, may be as well sent over to you from Liverpool direct.

From Pauletdom, when I get thither, I will write again,—I hope in more composure than today! Kind love to all. Adieu O dear Sister.— Your affectionate T. C.