July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JWC ; 11 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580811-TC-JWC-01; CL 34: 118-119


The Gill, 11 Augt, 1858.

Dearest, I am well this morning, after a good sleep had, and a good letter from you (with your excellent news, the chief comfort I have): nothing is wrong,—except the total want of repose, visible especially for some hours to come! The two Scotsbrig Boys are come (Jamie home from Glasgow just now) “to see their uncle” for-sooth, and little Jenny between them:1 bathing, welcome in these circumstances and in the dreadful heat, lies close at hand too. And Hamburg steaming & German voyaging lies close over the hill besides: No rest for me longer here; no rest, Macbeth can sleep no more!2

Lord Ashburton & Miss Baring are steaming thro' the Western Sounds this morning, I have little doubt: he wd be first in Glasgow yesterday afternoon; and the others wd join him between 8 & 9 in the evg. Our rencounter did very well as you have heard. It was right of you to say nothing to Miss Baring. I will send the Tourgff, and perhaps another little Book or two, this afternoon or tomorrow. What nice voyaging you have to the Island and up and down: right fair blow the winds for you in these same! It has been a lucky trip this to Bay House. Only again I say, Take care, take care!—

My stay here, I find, for even dietetic reasons, must now soon end, if I am wise. It is clear to me I have overdone rather than otherwise the milk-diet system, and committed excesses in whey. Ought to end; to change.— — Lord Ashbn's report of the Yachts puts an end to that part of the speculation: no yacht clearly enough. And yet the voyage itself gloomily demands of me to be done. To be done without delay, therefore; while the days have still some length, while &c &c. Alas for the lazy weakly man! But there is no help. Hull steamers are good; but they are as far off me as London:3 a day or more of railway torture will never do. Newcastle or Leith steamers are bad;4 but they are attainable from Scotsbrig, by 100 miles of rail: them I must put up with,—and that soon! Either Tuesday next (17th 8 p.m.) from Newcastle, or else Saturday following (21st 7 p.m) from Leith,—I must be off. That is my prest thot, the best I can form, in my sickly bewilderment & deep abhorrence, conscience alone imperatively driving me. Neglect no post in writing to me till then. I appoint Foxton for Newcastle or at least for Hamburg on those terms. Woe's me, woe's me!5— — Bathing has occurred: at the middle of last page an inexorable notice of the flight of time came: off by Austin in the gig accordingly; and I have had a very nice bathe,—if that were the end of it! Thank Heaven my poor Goody is not now so tossed about. Adieu till tomorrow.

T. C. 6