July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 1 October 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471001-TC-JAC-01; CL 22: 101-102


Gill, 1 octr, 1847—

My dear Brother,

Here is a Letter from Alick, enclosing one addressed specially to yourself by little Tom: it came yesterday, and we send it off to you, not yet including Jean at Dumfries among the readers of it, who is said to be somewhat dilatory occasionally in doing her part in such cases; you can forward it to her at your leisure. Mother and I came whirling over hither thro' the brisk autumn wind; I write this little Note, and will try to get the whole stuck into the Post-Office at Ecclefechan as we return.

Nothing new has occurred here since I suppose you have heard almost daily thro' Jane what nothings I reported. Our Mother is really tolerably well; complaining of heat today as we came along, tho' the wind is high and really cold for the season: she occasionally takes frail fits, but not often, and has had none of a bad sort since my arrival in these parts.— Poor Mary here is complaining a little; we had heard the other day that she was “rather ill,” worth reporting as “ill,” and even in bed for one day; but today we find her astir again, and not worse than when I was last here,—which indeed is no great height of health; for she looks worn, weary, and decidedly in a feeble kind of state. So far as my non-medical character can entitle me to inquire, I find she has a constant complaint of laxity in the bowels, these many weeks past; in fact all the symptoms she used to correspond with you upon,—excepting, which I suppose is an important exception, that there is nothing “ulcerous” without or within, only tendencies that way. I conjecture that some medicine, especially some directions as to diet, might do her good: pray send such, immediately if you can.— The rest are very well here; have a superior crop, potatoes and all, and seem doing well. Jamie knows nothing of the address alluded to in Alick's Letter; but Peter of Carstammon probably does;1 to whom application shall be made.

You have had a rather bad bout, poor Jane and you, I find! Today she is come back into your neighbourhood, as I like to fancy, and I hope will get herself taken care of again. At Addiscombe, I seemed to trace in her Letter, she had been somewhat thrown off the rails in that respect. She speaks with warm gratitude of your attention to her, and felicitous treatment of her; for which, as I need not state, I also feel deeply indebted. This is the first real Doctor-praise you ever got from her: from which am I to infer that you found her worse than you had ever chanced to do before, and so first took a real hold of her? I fear sometimes she has been worse than has yet been intimated to me! I beg you very especially to keep watch over her, and be of all the help to her you can, till my return; which I think now will not be delayed much.

In Annandale your fame as a Doctor has a decidedly high footing, as I everywhere get to understand. Poor old Graham says, with enthusiasm, “Hi might have the whoal practice of Annandale,” and then in a tone rising ever higher, “the whoal of it! All!” Oh whow!— But really this point ought