January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 25 September 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560925-TC-JAC-01; CL 31: 238-239


Kinloch Luichart, 25 Septr 1856—

My dear Brother,

This is probably the last Note I shall write to you from these Highland wildernesses. We are all to go on Monday next: to Inverness that night, in an omnibus of our own where will be protection against rain; on Tuesday to Dunkeld, outside a Coach (“Dr Rouse” and I), for 12 hours, under such weather as there may be; lastly on Wedy by rail to Edinr, where I break off, and hope to night at Scotsbrig, and pick up Jane who is in those parts, at Thornhill I think in the present days. She will probably be waiting for me at Scotsbrig; or if not I must go and catch her at the Gill next day. My calculation is, we ought to be off for London on the Saturday immediately following, and be at home that night.— You, who understand the mystic Bradshaw and Murray, can perhaps point out the eligible train for us to come by on Saturday? The Express I could myself discover;—and it is horrible, yet probably the best, being the briefest. After Saty night next, as I explained, there can nothing find me here from you; but on Wedy following, I am to be found at Scotsbrig. Bevis1 sent his last Newspaper rightly hither; let him do the same one other time, then cease altogether, and instead, leave a copy (stamped) at the door in Cheyne Row.

I have had three of the idlest and by no means the joyfullest or comfortablest of weeks. No work of any kind, not even idle reading, can [be] done2 or dreamt of. Every day it rains in flintmaking showers, one in the five minutes, if one walk off the highway (which is very smooth, and not very muddy considering), one runs imminent risk not only of wet feet but of sprained ancles.3 A deplorable country,—good for the Painter with its fine lights, misty veils, rainbows, cliffs lochs and bursts of sunshine;—good also for the deer-stalker (deer run plentifully about the very doors), but for no other person whatever.— — I have discovered an Annandale farmer (one Moffat) who is draining a bit of the neighbourhood, however;4 a useful looking kind of man, he for one.

Poor Dr Brown of Haddington is dead; died last Saturday at Edinr,—poor gifted entangled soul; it is a tragedy to think of! I have a Note from Mary at Gill, that their Harvest is pretty well over, and all well. Auf wiedersehn [Till we meet again]!

Ever your affecte /

T. Carlyle