January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 16 September 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560916-TC-JWC-01; CL 31: 225-226


Kinloch Luichart / 16 Septr (Tuesday) 1856

Dear little woman,—I looked for a Letter rather yesterday, our first post in 3 days; but had no reason to [be]1 disappointed, after all, that none came. You must have left Kirkcaldy,—I have some dim intimation you may have gone to Haddington again: no you could not get my Letter in time. Mondays, Wedys, Fridays (i.e. the previous nights from Inverness) are our only postdays. Tomorrow I shall have better luck perhaps.

I am not ill in health, but decidedly uncomfortable rather than otherwise: the weather is broken, blustery rainy; our life is altogether idle of the idlest (as the wont is); no fire can be allowed to burn (for over-heat to the Lady): “fa freddo [it is cold],” as Pepoli said!2 We have been to see waterfalls (i.e. The Greys & we strangers; the Lady goes her own roads, the Lord is always deer-stalking &c); we are much obstructed by the state of the weather, and alas good for almost nothing when it is at the best.—The grand concern is now that of getting home out of these stormy regions!—

If Gillespie3 wd really be glad to pick me up at Inverness some evening an 8 or 9 days hence, and put me on board a Glasgow Steamer next morning, I believe that wd be my best route, and I would join you at Scotsbrig for Chelsea with all despatch. Of all Inverness routes, bad all of them, this seems really the eligible. If you find is suitable, you may really write to Gillespie about this (committing me as yet to nothing): if you do not find it fit, as is perhaps likeliest, then let it lie altogether. But in any case do this other thing, Goodykin: send me two £1 Notes of money enclosed in your first Note! With these I shall struggle thro'; without these hardly. Do not neglect.

The Greys are just off half an hour ago, which will perhaps be a slight improvement in our circumstances. Poodle goes tomorrow: do do. We are then threatened with a visit of the other big Lord (Lansdown),4 but perhaps he will take gout and give in. Kinnear, a goodnatured eating naval insignificancy seems a fixture; perhaps does good rather than ill,—has care of all the boats &c, & knows about dogs, and sports aquatic and terrestrial. Rouse5 diligently walks (10 miles he and I did yesterday in the showers), and looks always fresh tacit or cheerful.

Mrs Austin wrote to me (to Chelsea) to beg the Printing of Fredk for her Nephew:6 Answer, Cannot. A letter from Emerson came thro' John,—that is to say enclosed in a letter from John at London.7 It ought to be answered today: but how answer it, at such a table, with such a pen, and 4 people all busy writing round me!

Oh my dear, my dear, might I soon be with you again, and a better temperature & weather than here!— God bless you wherever you are

Bear Ellice writes pressingly (in an oblique course) that I must come to Glen quoich:8 Cannot.—Lady A. suggests, Could not you come to Edinr and take seat again in the sublime vehicle (a better specimen this time) for London? I should guess hardly.—I wish we were but there on any terms again;—out of these wild blusts and showers at any rate, and with a possibility of getting something done while the day is passing over. Patience, that too will come.

If you are at Scotsbrig, or when you go, my kindest remembrances to every one. What a contrast their “breakfast” to ours!—But my bedroom is excellent, my sleep not bad; and the thing will end soon,—and perhaps be in no hurry to begin again. It is better not worse than my anticipation. Adieu Dearest. Yours ever

T. Carlyle