The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 25 August 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520825-TC-JWC-01; CL 27: 249-250


Scotsbrig, 25 Augt 1852 / Wednesday 11 a.m.

Dear Jeannie mine! This morning on awakening, I recollect with a shudder that if I do go off (as all things seem to indicate) on Saturday morning, there will be no time to hear from you in answer to anything unless I write this day, and by the day mail not by the night one,—so that you may get my word tomorrow morning, and have time for a reply! Heigho, what tumblings up of the repose of lazy souls: why did I ever venture on the road again at all, even tho' Morgan himself were driving me!— But to business.

Here there is your House-money, Dearest; I will not have poor Nero and you put to the horn1 in my absence,—not that at any rate. You write your name on the back of the Draught, when the time comes; send it to (Robt) Adamson,—bid him make it payable at once (otherwise he will wait near 3 weeks!) either to yourself, which will cost but little trouble, and is probably the best plan; or to Darwin, or anybody, who can then straightway give you the cash for it; and so that will end. Only, mention “by return” tomorrow that you have got the thing.— — Secondly, I want 12 pills, your kind from Alsop, in a cut-down flat box; I have at present only 1½, and indeed have used just ½ since I came: however, it is best to have them.— — Thirdly (and lastly) can you look in some of the drawers (small small internal drawers, I think) of the old Desk-Chest (which used to stand in the Dressing Closet), and find there my French Passport of last year? Find it if you can (which surely you can without if), and send it too tomorrow; it may be useful in the uncertainty that reigns in Edinr as to “Lord Provosts” giving Passports.— Ay de mi! And this is all; this, I think, is all. If Neuberg's Letter come today, as it may, I will warn you again today, and you may hear again of me at tea. Time is not very valuable as we spend it here in these days.

Last night, I slept much better; and indeed, except utter dispiritment and indolent confusion there is nothing essential that ails me: “just plain mental awgony in my ain inside,”—that is all; which I can in a great measure cure whenever I like to rise and “put my finger in the pipie o't.” We have had rain overnight; but the day is again fine, one of the finest, and all hands busy. I find my Fairy-Brae well has been rained into, and the white of the china cup I stationed there is dimmed with sediment; but the water itself is quite a piece of morality, and indeed agrees excellently with me, better than most spas would. Besides I am getting accustomed to the milk-and-meal diet, I suppose; and in a couple of months shd be quite “water-cured” perhaps,—had I not to lift my anchor again, and go into new circumstances once again. Ah me! But courage: in 4 weeks or so I shall have done that German business, I hope; and then, for God's sake, let all vermin, and plastering painting carpentering creatures, be out of my poor bedroom, and let me sleep there indefinitely Jack is going off again on a Watt-expedition with his gig (or Jamie's) today, and carries this Note: surely something will come of Wattdom? Not much, not very much, I fear! Jack has written to the Macready Doctor and to My himself, very particularly I think; recommends Nice or Naples, really not witht likelihood if poor Mrs. My “have the requisite strength.” I have written a Note to Lady An, announcing you as likely for Thursday Evg, myself as in all human probability bound for Saxony & Prussia straightway.— Take care of thy own little self, dear Goody, and God bless thee ever.

T. Carlyle

No 2

Wednesday still / 12½ p. m.

Neuberg's Letter is come; full of encouragt to go immediately! You shall have sight of it, so soon as I have mastered the details,—this same afternoon, I hope.

In the uttermost haste (for Jack's sacred hour is come), I break up your Note to add one important indispensable thing,—about the Passport!

Find that Passport I spoke of; but do not send it to me: take it to some trusty helpful man (Ld Ashburton, I shd think); ask him in the name of Charity to get it or a new one constructed for Bohemia (i.e. Austria) and Prussia (Bunsen by the b'ye, if he is in town? Or Browning (better still?)— Get me in short a Foreign Office Passport, which must be visé'd by the Austrian and by the Prussian Consul (or Ambassador?)—otherwise the Austrian won't let us enter his territory: hang him.— —

In short, dear Goody, not to throw you all into a flurry, depend on the good Lord Ashburton on Thursday night—that really will be best and shortest (if you see no reason of your own which is fairly better); ask his Lordship to act for you (and Neuberg's Letter will be there then): he will have till Friday's evening post; I shall still catch it up if addressed “Post-Office Edinr.”—And if Ld A. wd cross the seas again, and do a little real German Touring with Neuberg and me, how merry shd I be. We could meet at Bonn at Coblentz or where he liked. Alas, alas!— Adieu till afternoon. T. C.