January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 1 July 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590701-TC-JCA-01; CL 35: 130-131


Humbie, 1 july, 1859—

Dear Jean,

Many thanks for your prompt and effectual help. If the side-saddle come from Scotsbrig, we shall be free of the worst, and able to make a fair shift: if a Cuddie too can be had, we shall be quite made up!

We will give up the Gig speculation altogether, as little suitable were it even easier: but pray let James1 set about the Cuddy enprise2 without loss of a moment! Two sovereigns or guineas is a cheap price (don't fear the price),—then I suppose the quadruped will travel under the character of stirk, and cost but little to Edinr;—after whh we have hold of him, and the problem is completely managed. Jane, in her tremulous nervous state, has never been willing for anything but a Cuddy: on my horse I could manage perhaps by leading; but as to gig exercise, she has never given the least encouragt, under my guidance; indeed the roads are so steep, gnarly with little stones & even big, and generally so bad, and so alarming to my Cockney Quadruped, we shd evidently not do good with the Gig. Direct all your strength to the Cuddy, and let us have him as soon as possible, like helpers in need!—— I was just abt setting off for Edinr in quest of saddle apparatus, but had not gone anywhither since writing: I will now put off Edinr till tomorrow,—when Jamie junr of Scotsbrig, it seems, is to be visible along with the Dr.

We are certainly well lodged here; & I for my share believe myself to be doing well. But poor Jane seems very much brashed (partly by emotion at Haddington too, I fancy); & I have never yet got her persuaded over the threshold hardly, tho’ there is the very finest weather, and most excellent inviting old Wood3 (full of paths and strange old trees) beginning within few yards of us. She sleeps better than I have sometimes known her do; eats do: if I had her fairly afloat on the Cuddy, I calculate all will go far better!— I am not working at all; reading a little and but a little in my stupid Prussn Books. No more, dear Sister.

Yours with thanks /

T. Carlyle

This of course shall be “the Gill Cuddy,”4 this,—if we only had him. James, I have no doubt, has skill in Cuddy flesh too; and will do his best for us.