January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 6 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560806-TC-JCA-01; CL 31: 151-152


Gill, 6 Augt, 1856—

Dear Jean,

We will take Two Pairs of Trowsers according to this Specimen “5/”; they are the thinnest I can see, and of an inoffensive pattern of cloth,—to which the animal is used.

That “5/9” dressing-gown pleases me tolerably as to cloth; but the pattern is not quite good, tho' better than any of the others. I think of submitting it to Jane (and for that reason have retained half of the sample) before we decide: red and black or blue Plaid would please me better;—but I suppose the narrow stripings are now out? At all events, Jane's failure to do anything better will secure me against criticism in wearing it.— I know not whether it is worth while sending to “Jim”1 at Glasgow, in the interim, as you suggested? Follow your own judgement in regard to that. Auchtertool takes probably two days more time.— So soon as we have Jane's approval, or her failure and answer, we will, since better may not be, proceed to purchase of that Dumfries “5/9,”—a specimen of lining too is included:—keep these and have them all ready to go off at a day's warning. Probably about the beginning of next week.

Here has a little Frederick come too, this morning; little Fredk (by and by Fredk the Great) beating a child's drum year (1715) and his eldest sister (age then 6 or 7) assisting,2—who also became a notable woman by and by (“Margravine of Baireuth”), and wrote a book whh all the world still reads.3 The incident is a truth, and the bits of figures are Portraits taken at the time.— — I have a Copy of the Photograph considerably larger; whh you may have in exchange for that, if you like it better when you next come Sunday week, I hope?—

Your Train went by just as I was getting home. Did you notice my salute from the hillside, half way up to the House here?4 I was very wae (as I am apt to be), but thankful to have seen you.— — I have done as bidden in regard to the letter &c. Fear nothing. Poor little Jim will prosper yet, if he hold out.5

According to Tait's (this Photographer's) Letter, John is likely to be home from Switzerland “about the end of this week!” I hardly think so; it must have been some loose word spoken.—

Yours ever

T. Carlyle