January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 29 August 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590829-TC-JAC-01; CL 35: 183-185


Auchtertool, 29 Augt (Monday,), 1859—

My dear Brother,

Thanks for the kind trouble you took with the Draper people,1 tho’ you were in haste! It will at least save me the trouble of calling there; and admonish to give up the Scotch tailor speculatn, London being evidently the handier place to get clothes in.— I recd your Note yesterday, a little later than usual; but had no opportunity to write, as the man immediately walks back again, on Sundays, after delivering his bag. I thot of you with satisfaction on the old Scotsbrig Moor, strolling free under the bright sunshine there was. Today we have rain, and rather heavy at times: usually it has been mere Scotch-mist, or little more, till now. Liddell2 was out in force carrying together into stacks in the field (6 of them intended, when I went out) the great quantity of dry stuff here contiguous to us,—whh you walked thro', the last night you were here. The Rain has cut him short, halfway up the second rick: four wooden trivets (“horses,” they are called, to make the centres of ricks) remain here in the field. All is nearly ripe here abouts together, and the people are in great press.

I know not whether this will still find you at Scotsbrig tomorrow: but hope you may not run away the instant Harry goes.3 You might at least run over to The Gill, to Dumfries, and return with some definite impressions. I always hoped somehow you were to be within reach when I came to that Country myself,—tho', on considering, I must own I do not see with any clearness how the feasibilities do lie! If you can so contrive it, of course it wd be pleasant to me: but I know not whether you can.— At any rate pray consider my case, and investigate somewhat the cases of Scotsbrig, of The Gill; how they are forward with Harvest, how &c &c, in fact, what (without over-straining) their real capabilities for me are. I wanted to have, once more, some free conversatn with Jamie;4 at the Gill, I can lodge, and it is usually wholesomest of all to me, tho’ rather lonesome & foreign. Consider what I can do, and what they; and when wd probably be the suitablest time. I can come off any day,—have Horsemeat (exuberant, it proves, any way!), but care not a doit abt leaving any quantity of it. I am well housed here; but do not promise myself much benefit, or anything but a solace to laziness, by lingering here. Point out for me, if you can, what time might be suitablest for the Annandale Localities and friends.5 Or if there is no time now “suitable,” I must just plunge off at random, and make my stay be shorter.

Jane evidently gathers strength here. She means not to come down to Nithsdale, or at all out of her line; will go from Edinr (sleeping at York), despatch Charlotte by steamer; and wishes to be “home a week before me” to have the house ready. She can, and evidently ought to stay here as long as there is heat in the weather;—perhaps she will be better without me, instead of otherwise. There is a bigger and bigger racket establishing itself at the Manse;6 to whh I keep sacredly foreign in genl.—— Unhappily she, yesterday morning, riding home from the Manse where she had been overnight, brought down her Cuddy on the brae; ignominiously, & even dangerously down; no mistake abt it (and very happily almost no hurt): but she will never mount the Cuddy again;—so he too stands waiting on the slip, foolish animal! He will get to The Gill by degrees. Jane will “walk” she says,—pretty walking. But Mary7 is very bountiful with her pony: Cuddy was much a failure any way. Adieu. Brother regards to all. Your affecte T. Carlyle