The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 28 December 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531228-TC-JWC-01; CL 28: 364


Scotsbrig, 28 decr, 1853—

Dearest, you will get no letter tomorrow; therefore I write one word to say that your good little Note has come; that I am still well enough, and right well done to, in my solitude here;—and have indeed hitherto, in my sorrowful mood, such a kind of real Sabbath for these two days as has not for long been granted me in this confused pilgrimage of mine. It still seems likeliest I shall come on Saturday night; but it is not yet quite fixed with me, tho' left wholly to myself, nor do I quite know what were best yet: but on Saturday morning you are to expect distinct news as to that.

Last night Jamie and I walked thro' the howling frost-wind, after dark, to Grahame's; found poor old Grahame and his Sister;1—a sad, almost shocking visit to me, and which only a clear necessity could have induced or justified. Poor Grahame is red-faced, fat, and stupid, vulgarly painful to me; his poor Sister, lamed with rheumatisms and perhaps palsies, is evidently in a dangerous and most sad state: it was a great relief to get out into the dark wind again. At nine we were here by appointt; half an hour after— Ah me, ah me! But there is blessedness too in such sorrow as this is: let us try to be worthy of it; not to profane a sacredness such as there is no other.

The wind howled fiercely all night, and today, as I anticipated, there has snow fallen,—as yet not much.

To you I am rather consoled in writing: but it is a real misery to me, this obligation of writing to others, to any other (I can truly say). I have had to write long details to Alick, short to Jenny, Erskine was missed yesterday; and so my good day is quite spent.

Adieu dear Jeannie; write again if it is not too much of a task to you: till Saturday morning here (10 o'clock at Middlebie, 4½ of Friday at Chelsea) you are safe; and any word from you is a comfort to me. Adieu now, for the Post-time is come.

Ever yours /

T. Carlyle