January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 15 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560815-TC-JWC-01; CL 31: 175-176


Gill, 15 Augt, 1856—

Very well, Dear; I am clearly of opinion you are right in regard to Edinr & those drapery matters. Jean and I, with the aid of connexions she has in Glasgow if needful, will manage it all,—we hope!—in a way to meet approbation. I had already, for one prudent thing, put off the Tailor1 till Monday, finding there was absolutely no time.

Yesterday after dinner (lightest of innocent dinners), I rode into Dumfries, 12 miles in a fine windy Autumn afternoon; spent 2 ½ hours there; and came trotting home again, here few minutes after 10. One of the pleasantest rides I have had for many a year. The Country, after Dumfries and its suburbs, was perfectly solitary; the moon up amid driving clouds, whh pretended (to the unskilful) to threaten rain, but could bring none to speak of: the cornfields, moors, hills, kirks, and little cottages were strange, familiar & yet almost preternatural to me:—one cannot in the world find many such places for a ride.

Your visit to Edinr, 3 nights there of waggons grinding, is not very pleasant to me; but I suppose you could not help it. How is that poor hurt you got on your breast? Too heavy a price for seabathing! Tell me that,—tell me “all things,” when you have any leisure and humour to write.

My work was utterly knocked on the head by the Scotsbrig expedition; Could not till yesterday, shew the least sign of reviving. I also got two toe-injuries (owing to the mud, and my gutta-perchas being left here)—loss of skin to the extent of perhaps 1/20 inch; more important than half an acre of peeling on some places,—in the Flosh Moss,2 for example, which they are turning all into Cornground in that manner. It is very important that the Animal be well let alone; the less he stirs abroad, and the less any one meddles with him, it is in general the better.

One of the absurdest watery blockheads I ever heard of, worse than America's worst, writes to me this morning from Stockholm (an Englishn, of tremendous future genius, travelling for his health):3 I meant to send you the long rigmarole, but it is two big sheets, wd cost an additional stamp and only weary you in reading: so I burn it rather.

I have been in the sea again; rather confusing, so soon after breakfast. With my blessing always.

T. Carlyle