April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH; 21 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490721-JWC-JW-01; CL 24: 141-142


W E Forster's Esqr Rawdon, 21st [July 1849] Leeds—

Dearest Babbie

It is enough to make anybody cry—or laugh—how I have been consulting with Mr Forster surrounded by maps and Bradshaws1 for the last two hours, seeking “like old Dr Ritchie”2 at every commencement of his annual course of Divinity for “a fixed point”— If I were like other travellers, nothing could be simpler than to ascertain how many hours railwaying lies betwixt Leeds and Edinr and write to you what train I should go by—butbut—I cannot make the whole journey in one day without risking a week's headach after— I cannot fly past Haddington—merely shutting my eyes— I must divide the distance into two days work— I must stop some hours at least at Haddington, and look at the poor old place unknown to the Donaldsons3 or any one else—and the details of so complicated a journey can only for so inapt a traveller as myself “become clear” like one's ‘duties’ in performing them4— “Hang it” Forster says “Can't you invent the name of a Hotel in Edinr and tell them to meet you there at some hour of the day you are likely to arrive”—Rather vague! However this may possibly bring us together— On Thursday, God willing, I shall be in Edinr by the train which comes in from Haddington at a quarter after twelve— If anyone meets me there to help me on to Auchtertool so much the better for me; as really I am not unlike loosing the head off my shoulders at present—if no one is there have a note at the Post Office for me—telling me how to proceed—and I will go on the same day—in case of missing suppose we are both there have a note at the post any how telling me what Hotel or House in Edinr you are to be heard of at— You understand—at a quarter after twelve on Thursday I am to be at the terminus of the train which comes from Newcastle by Longniddry (three miles from Haddington) and if I dont find some one there I leave my luggage and go straight to the Post Office and ask for a letter to Mrs Carlyle—to be called for—

God bless you all— Pray for me— I am in such a flurry—poor foolish creature!

Your own cousin JWC

We don't leave on Tuesday till after the Post comes in so perhaps two words in answer to this might still reach me here—try