The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 15 September 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510915-TC-JWC-01; CL 26: 175-176


Scotsbrig, Monday Evg / 15 Septr, 1851—

My poor little Jeannie,—What a miserable business that of the headache, cold, and all manner of confusions coming on us in a heap! And that stern Dream!—My poor little Goody!—

I am writing by candle-light, and have to send the Note by express; all things being in such a heap of hurries this day— I was on the road with Jean to Gill, hardly expecting a Letter from you, when we did pick up the missive; I had to take instant measures, at Ecclefechan, for ascertaining even the Train that wd take me; Jamie Aitken too was waiting at Gill: the day was hot and close;—in short, I am just got home again; and have all my packing and etceteras work to do. My first thought was to stay here till Wednesday; and appoint you to meet me at the Manchester Station, and so run right thro' to Alderley: however I find tomorrow (Tuesday) is the monition of human valour; besides I am so tumbled up I shall get no rest now by staying here, and they are well prepared for my going. Off therefore!

My train is the Express tomorrow, at 2 p.m. from Carlisle; arrives in Manchester 25 min. past 5 (say 6 p.m.): two stations you have;1 I partly by guess will prefer the one called “Victoria Street” as nearer you: sometimes towards 6 off or on, you will see me if all go well. “Dinner or not dinner” lies with the Fates and Railway guards; but if old Peggy will have one mutton-chop ready for doing, I will eat a bit of bread to it, and despise all other dining. Sleep, in the Gaskell house, must go as it can.2Can I see Hereford think you on the morrow. Best not bother about it. On the whole never mind it. Bid the helpful Frank (if his cold have so far abated) find you out the Alderley train: we need not hurry; dinner (say 7 p.m.) is our only rigid limit.

No button ever reached us here, not the shadow of one! I suppose the parcel must have burst open and scattered itself. Who knows? T. G.3 the indefatigable tailor did otherwise the best he could.

Along with your Note today came this from Jenny. A good cheery Letter from the poor little soul. Pray, having read it, send it straightway on to John,—whose Letter (with account of the trains &c) may be expected here tomorrow about 20 min after I am gone. Tell him that he seems to be much wanted here, by our poor old Mother, and by many others in a less degree. Poor old Mother, she is really very feeble; and my heart is as sore as it can be on her account,—a sad, inexorable tale, which has been and will be told, to all men!— Let me flatter myself she will be a little better when once I am off, and all things quiet again. The good old Mother, she comes in to charge me specially to send you her love, her wish that she could see Jane once again.

Eheu! Good night, my Dearest. If your cold be not gone, never mind; we will wait and nurse it. Yours ever, T. Carlyle