July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO LORD ASHBURTON ; 6 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580806-TC-LOA-01; CL 34: 102-103


The Gill, 6 Augt, 1858—

Dear Lord Ashburton,

I have written to the Dumfries Banker1 to complete that matter2 in the good way you prescribe. It is finished therefore. Amen, Amen.—

The way to hit me here is, To take the morning mail train for Carlisle; 9.15 a.m. from Euston Square: by Crewe, Lancaster &c,3 you get to Carlisle about 7 p.m; it is said to be the agreeablest train of the day or night: no later train will do for you at all. If intending direct for Glasgow, one sits still, at this Carlisle Station; one is pushed along again, in 5 or 10 minutes, by the same Carriages (I think), called now of “the Caledonian Line.” But you, who intend by Ayrshire, you step out; get a new Ticket, for Dumfries (“Glasgow and South-Western,” they call the line, but you need not recollect it, only recollect “Dumfries”): 3 or 4 minutes after the Caledonian is gone, you also start (7.10 p.m.); for some miles by the same train of rails; but at Crossing of Sark or near it, you branch off to the right;4 go thro' Annan, a brisk little Town, getting fast ruined by these vehicles of yours5 (glance back at the place, for the sake of many sore young school days I passed there);6—and at 8.30 you are in Dumfries, where the train stops for that night. It is usually a nice quiet little thing, often a carriage all to yourself; & goes charmingly. At Dumfries I hope to be in waiting.

There are good enough inns in the place; and I can prophecy you a few hours beforehand at the one I hear to be the comfortablest. Prince Charlie's (“Commercial Inn”)7 where he lodged in 1745 with the Duke of Cumberland pursuing8 is still, to my own knowledge, or used to be, a tolerable place;—but we are not tied to Antiquarian Considerations. King's Arms9 is the chief Inn best or not.

We might have a pleasant drive along the Hill sides (especially if the weather were fair) next day,—and about, till 4½ p.m.; at which time you must go for Glasgow;—and may have the house warmed there for Miss Baring and Rous,10 if they go by the mail train of Tuesday morning. I think that would do very well. If you like it, write one word, any time before 5 p.m. of Saturday (tomorrow when you get this): it will reach me here on Monday morning; and send me off at a nice pace to Dumfries.

Miss Baring has been very good to my Wife, who writes to me already a much improved creature by these 4 days at Bay House.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle