January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 10 July 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590710-TC-JCA-01; CL 35: 140


Humbie, 10 july, 1859—

Dear Jean,

I am bound to put an end to your anxieties about the Cuddy Adventure; if I carry this to the Post-Office tonight, whh can be done by my last outrake now at hand, I believe you will get it tomorrow.

Know then that the Cuddy thus far seems to be a perfect success; and does promise, so far as 2 separate performances will indicate, to be a very great achievement in this household. Something like a pair of legs to the poor Missus; for really there seemed no outlook of locomotion for her otherwise!

The Boy went across on Friday; and returned successfully with the Long-eared Creature abt 5 p.m. The “charge”1 at the Railway Station for keep had been astonishingly moderate, about 4d a-day seemingly,—“keep” of grass, I shd surmise:—the entire expenses beyond what you laid out did not quite amount to 10/; whh, for “a pair of legs” (if the Creature shd prove such), could not be counted considerable. His appearance was approved of; respectable, tho’ lean; the Boy had given him two feeds of corn in the course of the day; mown rye grass & clover was furnished for subsequent board (with a lock of corn once a day,—whh he refuses to eat this day, being perhaps staw'd for the time): and so, Saturday, the day after his arrival, the first experiment was made, and today the second; Jane riding triumphantly, and the poor Beast doing his part in the most unexceptionable manner. He seems weakish and timid, she says, but willing, obedient; goes at a fair Cuddy pace; and she has not the least fear while on his back. Thanks, therefore, many kind thanks for the trouble you have all taken; whh has been so essentially useful to us. I see not how we cd have done otherwise at all: no such thing as a cuddy appears to exist in these parts; many “bather Leddies,” on Saturday, came eagerly about, asking Jane “If that was a hired Donkey?”— “Oh no Ma'am, it is my own!” answered the Envy of surrounding Females with weak limbs.——Tell us now the exact cipher, every item included, of what the cost was; that we may at least repay that part of the debt.

Jack was here on Saturday; met us just as we were embarking on the first trial; and staid pleasantly till the last Boat. I bathe every morng; weather beautiful;—no work capable of being done: indeed this of “the side-saddle” has been work hitherto! Well otherwise; well for us. Blessings on you all.

T. Carlyle