January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 30 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560830-TC-JWC-01; CL 31: 202-203


Dumfries, 30 Augt / (Saturday) 1856—

Dear Jeannie,—I send Emerson1 today, having got stamps: that is at least an excuse for scribbling again without having almost anything to say. One little thing there was;—about Linlathen;—but I seem nearly to have lost hold of it again in this evercircling element!

It was, to say that if Linlathen at the end will please you better, you can witht scruple make it that way, and give up any negociations you may have entered on for doing the visit now. Also to urge (which I know is superfluous) the propriety of speed in settling some way, and letting me know: for I find I have properly speaking nothing to do till I know how it is settled! That was not a cunning arrangement on my part.

I learn here contrary to what Jamie Carlyle (of Glasgow) assured me that there is a numerous set of steamer conveyances to Inverness such as might perhaps suit me better for a route: but I cannot ascertain or guess here (till the new “Murray Time-tables,”2 or some such miserable Document, “for September” arrive), what the fares are, the hours, or anything about them. So that perhaps Linlathen (per se, that is, without any visit, any meeting &c) may perhaps be the eligible route still, and perhaps not:—at any rate it shall be the eligible with the adjuncts thrown in,—if you like to furnish them. I shall hear at The Gill soon after my return,—on Monday as I at present calculate. I had better have staid there (as is usually my experience),—I had very much better stay there just now, and wait the conclusion that way, as I often think,—in a sufficiently haggard manner!

At present I am quite cut up with the loss (half loss, to be exact) of my last night's sleep, in which article I have never shone since these Annandale affairs began. But I go to Scotsbrig this evening,—a gig and good horse;—and shall probably get what I am in want of in the sleep way there. Which will make a great change in one's ideas about everything.

Jean is as kind as can be, poor soul; and the loss of sleep was an accident, not due to her arrangements, which were good. But such are one's chances while roving in foreign parts. I have not seen Aird, seen anybody: went walking, thro' the gray still Autumn, over a high tract called “the Craigs3 ; and am to drive off in about an hour. God bless thee Dearest.

T. Carlyle

Jean expressly bids me find room for her respects.— This is quite a queer place, with baths, playing fountains, thermometers, raingauges; James developing himself into a virtuoso curiously more and more. Adamson was shut4 when I called.—