The Collected Letters, Volume 10


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 22 August 1838; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18380822-TC-JWC-01; CL 10: 144-145


Kirkcaldy, Wednesday Morng [22 August 1838]


As a frank is going off in some fifteen minutes, I may as well write you a word instead of sending a Newspaper; tho' the latter would have told you nearly all I can yet have to tell or at present get you told.— We did not get away from the Dock that night till half past one or later; we in consequence arrived at Leith some five hours after John Fergus had returned home again; namely, about midnight. The consequences were confusion on the back of confusion. Omitting all which for the present let me say only that I did arrive here yesterday about noon; in a deluge of rain, wearied and unbreakfasted, yet otherwise improved rather than injured in health; that I was welcomed “in choicest mood”;1 that I have bathed, ridden on horseback, and slept, all comfortably, and am here scribbling to my Goody, in a dry bedroom with rain all battering round me and it,—unable as yet to give almost any account of myself. The ground still rocks, as if I were at sea. With my mind too it is the same. And thou, poor Goody? Many a time I thought of that sad dreary hour, many a time asked myself, what is my poor lassie doing?

The character of matters here is not such that I can predict at all how long I shall continue. Good Humour and Health are incarnated in our landlord; the two dames (Elizabeth & Jessie) are known to you:2 my only fault is like to be that I cannot get my peace held. I will struggle however to say not a word that I can help. A man with a talent for visiting might do wonders in that way here; but I have no talent.

Three dips in the sea are the smallest possible number. But how many more; or what I am to do next? I can think of no place for a Letter of yours, except this that you write forthwith to Edinr “to lie till called for.” And yet that, except there be something momentous, is not worth while. Get me from the Stimabiles an old Newspaper; address it (forthwith) to me “care of John Gordon Esq, University chambers, Edinr”:3 two strokes and my Goody's hand will put me off till I get writing again. O dear, dear, what a life is this of ours! But no more of it today. I do expect to grow a great deal better by this expedition; then we shall all be better. I will stay here as long as I can; at Edinr and then at Aitkens4 as long as I can. By the bye, you must write to my Mother too when there comes any word from John. I have not seen Ellen's people,5 but understand them to be all well.— God ever bless thee my own good ill-tempered Dear!— I am ever & always

T. Carlyle

I will write again probably in about a week,—more at leisure.