January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JWC ; 26 September 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590926-TC-JWC-01; CL 35: 218-219


Scotsbrig, Monday 26 Septr, 1859

Alas, my poor Goody, here are Two Nights successively without sleep: whole journey done with no rest but of the vigilant sort, and henbane itself failing when you get to your own bed! I did not see till the very last line of your Note yesterday how bad it was; for you have the art of turning out the pleasant side of everything when the pen is in your hand. I do hope the next bulletin (there is still just room for another) will tell me a better tale about your sleep.— In addition to what I formerly said, there is this farther to be attended to: That you get into a neat fly, and get two drives weekly,—one of them witht the least delay on receipt of this. Now mind; for this is strict! It cannot fail to help you towards sleep; and, with even partial success that way, it will be cheap to both of us.

You may fancy I was right glad to find your Note ready at Ecclefechan yesterday: for I got it myself,—in the interval of rain-deluges and other confusions;—I had been detained at The Gill till Sunday morning (chiefly Jean and the Doctor's and other extraneous movements to blame for it); and that morning, on going out, my mackintosh Cape was as cataract all the time I walked. Kind of cold upon me, too, whh I had caught, but was subduing (& have now subdued). Mary earnestly proposed three times over to send one of the lasses1 to Ecclefn for my Letter: but I appointed 2 p.m. for decision of the weather; and by that time there had risen a hurricane of s.w. wind; in the middle of whh I pensively flatched up, at a swiftish pace, on the loyal back of Dromedary, wind mostly behind me, & lullabying my poor soul into a gloomy kind of peace. At length came the Ecclefechan Kirkyard Tree and the still Mansions2 round it,—and my poor Goody's Letter waiting for me still among the living. It I read on horseback; the other stuff safe shoved into my pocket. Jamie and the Boys with good assiduous little Jenny were here to wait on me: I kept quiet, was judicious in the diet way, and the remains of cold (gathered by a foolish run to Dumfries, in non-resistance to my circumstances at The Gill, whh were thoroughly resistable had I taken thot) are now gone, as I said. There is something very nice to me in the unaffected human heartiness of welcome, and real effectuality of help, whh I get in these two rustic habitations peculiar to me in this Planet.—— —— Jack has been at Arbuckle's, at Dumfries, out on a miscellaneous foray for an 8 days past; comes hither tonight again;—well disposed as can be poor soul, but rather the enemy of quiet than the friend. He knows Bradshaw better than any human soul of his day:3 I will get that, among my other helps from him; and settle definitely about my hours and times in the course of tomorrow.

He asserts loudly I ought to start from The Gill (less waiting in Carlisle by that method, indeed almost none); for quiet's sake were there no other reason I shall probably comply. Then there is the Stanley matter to be settled, Yes or No; that too I mean to do tomorrow. On Wednesday I will write to you (in ansr to the Note you are to send;—don't forget it!) what my Program is. Later than Saturday I in no case intend to be. Thursday (abt11½ a.m. from The Gill, or 10 if from Scotsbrig) is my likeliest time of starting. Get you yr brougham, little Goodykin & wait patiently. The Horse shall have a little exercise before long!—

Creak's4 Letter is hardly worth sending; I hardly think of bothering abt his Principalship, not a lively interest or conviction of mine.— Neuberg (who probably has seen you?) sends a Note and some tiny Prints, whh I keep till my homecoming. Wd I were there! Now get some sleep, my poor little Woman, and be wellish when I shew face. Nero's whistle is safe. Ever yours T. Carlyle