January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JAMES CARLYLE ; 25 September 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560925-TC-JC-01; CL 31: 239-240


Kinloch Luichart, Dingwall Thursday morng 25 Septr 1856

Dear Jamie,

I yesterday got Jane's second Letter, written in haste while you were waiting to drive her off to Annan: the first also had come, and all was right. She seems heartily content with the reception you all gave her.

I am now near the term of this tempestuous Highland sojourn,—much disfigured by bad weather for one thing;—we are all to be off for Inverness on Monday next (Monday 29th), thence to Dunkeld on Tuesday; thence to Edinr, on Wednesday about 1 p.m.;—and that same Wednesday, by the same train as before, I for my part mean to be at Scotsbrig if all go right, and hope to find you as I did before hospitably ready to whirl me over in the gig to my night's quarters. Wednesday 1 Octr (Wedy next), by the train that leaves Edinr about 5 p.m.: let this stand fixed, if you hear nothing more.

I wrote to Jane to that effect two days since. Possibly she may be at Scotsbrig waiting for me; otherwise I said I could drive across next day, and pick her up at the Gill. We are to be off for Chelsea on the Saturday immediately following, and so to end these weary wanderings. I keep in goodish health; I believe I have very perceptibly improved in that particular: certainly I have tried two very opposite ways of regimen since I first started!

There has been nothing but continual splashes of rain, and driving blasts of Scotch mist, with wild howling tempests of wind, for the last two weeks: one never stirs without an umbrella, and no umbrella will do on the unprotected road,—you have to fly into some quarryhole of the roadman, if there be not some scrag of natural “birch-forest” within reach. A country totally unimproved by the Natives; but considerably improvable,—thanks to South country farmers1 who are coming in here and there, with their draining apparatus2 and their Cheviot sheep3—very beautiful, too, in parts, if it were not so savage and wet.

I told Jane to take her choice as to Wedy and Thursday; and that you would catch her up at the Gill if she liked that, any day, with the Gig. I rather hope she will be with you, when I come. I wish I were “come”! But there are some very ugly hours and miles between me and that.—Give my kindest regards to Isabella, John & Jenny. Your affecte T. Carlyle