July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JWC ; 20 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580820-TC-JWC-01; CL 34: 150-151


Scotsbrig! [The Gill, crossed out], 20 Augt, 1858—

Dearest,—I am here at Scotsbrig; still in a considerable whirl of “business,” petty, incessant and annoying;—full of all the thots, too, whh this nearly preternatural apartt may be supposed to give me. Oh Time, Oh Death—Oh Life! But we must not falter, must not loiter: “Doch unbeschrecket / Dringen wir vorwärts [Thus we drive forwards without fear],”1—as is fit always! There is a certain blessedness and sacredness in this kind of pain and heaviness of heart to me. Vorwärts! [Forwards]—

Arthur (one of “my poor boys,” grown very civil, and voice bass, poor creature) is still here, and Jamie junr from Glasgow: but they are all very quiet, keep well out of my way. Weather bright and airy,—seems to tell me, “I will be kind to thy little Goody, thou fool!”— That is the most comfortable element in my thots at prest!— And here is Isabella up to ask abt dinner (“smallest fraction of roast chicken, then,”—if not “2 eggs,” as yesterday, whh did very well); and Jamie, it seems, is off catching the Horse; journey to Ecclefn (for “10 more sovereigns,” no less!) being just at hand, time ebbing fast for that operatn. And I have had Proof Titlepage again, and maps from Larkin; and— You see what flurry I am still in.

Nothing having come from you this morning, I think you must aim for tomorrow;—and we will intercept the Postman (are to be off “by the stroke of 9 a.m.”), and will catch up what there may be,—a box of pills from Jack,2 among other things!—

Write “Poste Restante Dresden” the next morning after your arrival at Landhall: I can give no better guidance;—and be punctual and sharp! You shall hear from me abt that same time; perhaps find a letter at Landll;—from Hamburg direct I will send a Newspaper3 at least (if I can at all); but I doubt it can hardly hit you in Chelsea. Don't bother your poor head, Dearest; be quiet, and patiently wait,—like a wise little Goody.

And may I but hear you do well at Landll, it will be such a comfort to me in the Bohemn & Silesian wildernesses;—and perhaps I may come round, and pick you up, a mended watch (in some measure), and carry you home in my pocket, you fool!—

Something more I had to say; but it is gone, and I have not half a moment. Oh, it was that Foxton and I will be (trying to dine probably) in the Queens Hôtel Princes Street, Tomorrow (Saturday 5 p.m.) when you get this at Bay House: Nothing more importt!—

Adieu then my own dear little Jeannie. Take care of thyself, care, care! And God keep thee well to me while I live. Ever affectionately my good little woman's own

T. Carlyle