January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JWC ; 9 September 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590909-TC-JWC-01; CL 35: 196-197


Scotsbrig (Friday) 9 Septr 1859

My Dear, you will be content with a very small bit of practical announcement today; for indeed there is not the least convenience for writing or anything that writing (to purpose) depends upon.

I got along yesterday tolerably well; very sickly and uncomfortable all along to Edinr (kind of obscure cold still working on me): but, after Edinr and even before leaving it, I was a little better in nerves; and on the whole after a journey less disagreeable than was expected, we got to post here (in faint drizzle of rain, whh soon increased to a heavy pitch) without ill luck of any kind.— I had got my coat, or cloth for it, at Cruikshanks's;1 item a tolerable carpet-bag. Besides Gordon, who was in waiting but did not stay long, I saw Henry Inglis,2 accidentally on the street; very flourishing and cheerful; who sent the best regards &c to Mrs Carlyle;—a grey solid gentn who looked fixedly at me I discovered to be Lord Elgin,3 but to him I said nothing, nor made any sign. In our Railway carriage, a rough Plaiden figure, with white wide-awake, proved to be Wm Marshall (the fat M.P. one),4 who of course exploded into rough talk; but I fastened him mainly on John, and got liberty to sit looking on external Nature, for most part, and following my own gloomy reflexions.

Here all is a changed affair,5 except the old cordiality of welcome; sadly changed: ah me! The three men (Jamie & his two sons) were out to receive us; poor little Jenny6 modestly trimmed out, and all in black, was at the foot of the stairs. I find it to have been imprudent to have come along with John; one of us shd not have been here: but I must make it do now.— I have had a fairish sleep; no bath, no &c; in fact all is very waste and confused;—and I will wait for farther news of you, poor little soul, before writing more.— Horse persists in Steamer conveyance; some 7/ or so due to Mowatt7 for last corn. God bless thee, Dearest T. C.8