August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


JWC TO ISABELLA CARLYLE ; 3 August 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570803-JWC-IC-01; CL 33: 7-8


Auchtertool—Kircaldy / Monday [3 August 1857]

My dear Isabella

Many thanks for your kind note; it was brought from Kircaldy yesterday by the Precentor, and the letters were sent back by him, when he had done his little job of singing; before I was told or had time to write an answer.

Dont vex your kind hearts about not being able to ask me to Scotsbrig. I am not up to scouring the Country and visiting here there and every where, as I did last year— I could not have gone into Dumfrieshire, without staying some time at Mrs Russells, who has been pressing me to come there, ever since I got about after my long confinement. And I should have had to stop at Dumfries, and stop at the Gill1—wet day or dry,—and all that tashing2 about—that “toiling myself” as our old Betty3 calls it—would have knocked me up at present body and soul— So I had made up my mind to stay still as much as possible in one quarter of the Country— Indeed if I could have done it without mortally offending my Aunts and my Cousins I would have spent my whole time at Sunny Bank— However I am going back there for another week or so of my “native air” before I return to Chelsea— If I were there own Child these dear old women couldn't be kinder to me than they are—and their quiet and regular way of life is just suited to an Invalid—as I am afraid I must still call myself— Here there is too much ado about nothing and, the hours are too fashionable for me— Whether owing to that or not I cant tell; but I have been more unwell than I was at SunnyBank and as this journey to Scotland is not one of pleasure, or of idleness, or of restlessness; but wholly and solely with a view to getting a little stronger, and more able to carry on life at home. the fact that I am not so well is reason enough for shortening my stay—next week I mean to be at Haddington again.

Mr C seems to be getting on pretty well by himself— If I had not been sure that Ann could and would keep him right in material respects I couldnt have made up my mind to leave him there— He is very considerate anyhow in making no complaints in his letters.

My kindest regards to dear Jamie— I should like to have had a sight of his honest face—and a drive in the old gig with him, could it have been managed but it couldnt—had my room been lying ever so vacant, I couldnt have faced in my present state of nerves—all that tashing about— I will send you a line when I get home, to tell you how far my journey has been worth the pains and cost—

Yours affectionately / Jane W Carlyle