The Collected Letters, Volume 10


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 2 October 1838; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18381002-TC-JCA-01; CL 10: 194-196


Ecclefechan, 2nd October 1838—

My dear Jean,

We are unfortunately not to see you again on this occasion: it seems to be settled that we are to go southward again either on Friday or Saturday.1 I fully purposed otherwise; nor is it altogether my blame that it is not otherwise: but there is no help now; we must hope for better things2 next time. Nay who knows but I may be at Edinburgh lecturing some time or other, and to see you all sooner than we expect!

I want you at present to send me out a Pound and a Half of Mundell's best tobacco3 by the Carrier tomorrow. Alick has sent for my large quantity, both to Hawick and to Glasgow; but it is not come yet, nor is there any hope of it till after I depart. It will have to be sent after me by some Meal and etceteras that are coming. Mundell's six quarters (make him do it up in quarters) will serve in the interim. You will need six shillings to buy it with; likewise, I remember well now, you already stand my creditor for some three shillings laid out in that way before my arrival: I will leave cash to liquidate the whole claim with my Mother. Do not neglect therefore, my Bairn; but let me have the needful article by the Carrier tomorrow night, and thanks shall be thine.

Alick, in whose upper room, beside Jack and a good fire, I now write, is well; and it seems to me, doing well; much cheerfuller than in late years. Our Mother and we too (Jack and I) were down at Annan yesterday: all well there. Jack did not come up with us; I have met him here few minutes ago; Jamie and I having brought over the Clatch [gig], after tea, by moonlight. My Mother has been busy as a bee all day; washing &c: she is tolerably well in general; but, I think, exposes herself too much. Jamie has a Rick in; a good quantity reaped, and the rest getting fast ready, and fast cut. Newspapers with strokes have come from Manchester, but no Letter as yet.

This is all the news. James will receive the Gig probably on Saturday, and assist the messenger to get rid of it. Thank him again for all the trouble he takes with me. As for the young James, I move that warm winter clothing, of flannel or plaiding be provided for him with all convenient despatch; also that he be forbidden positively to mount on dressers. And so my dear Jean I must bid you good-b'ye for this time. I am gratified to find you all fighting along in an honourable way, with more success not with less than formerly. Continue in that way. It is the right way; and God does speed one in it sooner or later. I will write to you before long from London. Some Letter to my Mother will be sent so soon as I arrive; to you I will send a Newspaper if I can. The Courier of tomorrow you can send out hither, if it be not gone elsewhither.

Good be with you and yours, dear Jean.

I remain ever / Your affectionate Brother

T. Carlyle

James can keep an account of the Puttoch wood (if it be cut), and of his own expenses about it in the first place.

[John A. Carlyle's postscript]

My dear Jean,

It seems as good as fixed that we are to go on saturday from Annan with the Victoria steamer,4 to remain at Manchester over Sunday and go on to London on Monday. It grieves me to think that I saw so little of you and in such confusion. If I find that Jamie's poney can carry me up to Dumfries and back again in a day I may still see you either tomorrow afternoon or on thursday. My plans in regard to Italy will not be fixed till I get to London. But I think it very unlikely in any case that I shall make any arrangement that can keep me so long from returning to Dumfriesshire as last time. I am most heartily weary of wandering and shall be glad when I get some place of rest. However I will do the best I can with patience in the meantime. Give my kindest respects to James the larger. If the thing is to be done conveniently, I shall see you again. Ever your affectionate brother

J A Carlyle