January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 22 August 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590822-TC-JAC-01; CL 35: 173-174


Auchtertool, 22 Augt, 1859—

My dear Brother,

As I sat here yesterday morning, all packed, in dreary but resigned mood after a baddish night and morning, silently waiting for Walter and the gig,—Erskine's man1 stept in with the Inclosed Letter; whh let off all the steam again; much to my relief, for the moment! I have this morning written kindly to Erskine, giving up the speculation altogether. Indeed it was much luckier. I am in no mood for doing visits; for dressing, discoursing, screwing up mind or body in any way. Much better to lie here totally dormant, the idlest and most solitary of all mortals, till our term here arrive. That will come soon enough, when one must get on foot again. “Jowett” has no charms for me; I saw Jowett twice over: a poor little goodhumoured owlet of a body,—“Oxford Liberal,” and very conscious of being so; not knowing right hand from left otherwise.2 Ach Gott!

I got home rapidly witht the least damage on Saturday night. Sunday my laziness in the bright Earth was beyond expression; however, I forced a furious walk, and do ride, out of myself, whh did good. Yesterday I accompanied Walter to Kirkcaldy after all; Jane had appointed to go (shopping), and I, for the moment, was as one witht employt. That did not answer, however; I returned with a headache &c, considerably done up by a glass of soda-water and drop of brandy I had ventured on. Laziness, I rather believe, is the wholesome feeling for me; absolute far-niente [idleness] the real rule at present. My larynx feeling is as if quite gone; sleep not quite returned, to the old extent, but returning.

I wish you wd learn for me, at the Caledonian-Railway Office, or otherwise, what the hour &c for a Horse to Ecclefechan is: my next grand adventure must be getting anchor lifted from this place; and it will need to be well meditated beforehand, in wakeful mornings! Give my kind regards to Henry,3 and say what his movements are. Yours ever T. Carlyle