The Collected Letters, Volume 11


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 28 July 1839; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18390728-TC-JAC-01; CL 11: 158-159


Templand, 28 July, 1839—

My dear Brother,

Yesterday I wrote a long rigmarole of a Letter in reply to your mute Newspaper-token; today we have your frank, and the new tidings, better than before, that you expect soon to be free altogether and home with us. We are right glad of it; we hope soon to set eye on you, and the fulfilment of it.— All remains here in statu quo today, except the weather, which is brighter and more like permanent fairness; as beautiful as one could wish. [Interruption here,—till now, Monday Morning 29th]1

I write a few words before breakfast; the house mostly still yet, except myself. The morning again is of the beautifullest; our Mother is to go off for Dumfries today, I am to take her so far in the Clatch, where I had her yesterday evening (sunday as it was) thro' the Drumlanrig woods in the blessed sunshine. We shall have a fine drive, I expect. She is to go to Bonerick to see her sister Nickie, whose husband died since you were here;2 to Bonerick probably tomorrow, then to Dumfries on Wednesday; after which she will proceed to Annan in the Coach, and stay there with Mary and Jenny till she think of Scotsbrig again, perhaps “a day or so.” Isabella is still weakly, and threatened with “nervousness”; but she seems greatly stouter than when you were here, and is able to shift about, somewhat. Jamie has had a sorrowful time I understand, but he holds out in hearty spirits. Alick seems to flourish, might do well enough, they all say, were it not that his miserable tendency3 still now and then overcame him, and threw a doubt over all. He is kept busy, but does not seem very cheerful.

As for me I return hither tonight; I would have taken my Mother right forwards into Annandale, but she does not want that. I mean to come and make a resolute struggle here for a week or two to see whether I cannot get some work done. It is absolutely indispensable. I will set to it tomorrow morning with dogged misery and obstinacy; we shall see. My future movements will depend on yours. I will wait here till I hear farther what they are to be. It is not yet known at Ecclefechan that you have arrived; but our Mother will spread the glad news. It is likely that you will be here soon: is it not? When any news of moment arrive from you, I will despatch a message thither. If I could but get my Article forward, or even fairly under way, I should meet you with a clearer heart!

Fraser sent a huge packet yesterday, containing after long expectancy on my part—one sheet! If you could stir the Printers up there, and make them get done with that tagrag it would be something. F. and I have a speculation about reprinting W. Meister, both the Portions (as I told you?)—Tait does not answer positively as yet, for his share.

In F's packet yesterday came an Emerson Letter:4 all right in America; first portion of the Miscellanies done all to 40, a new Edition likely to start soon,—for which reason pray do not neglect to bring your copy with you: there are some errors I want to correct. If you had even room for a copy or two more, I could give them to our friends now; but that is immaterial.

Write soon, dear Jack

Ever your affectionate Brother /

T. Carlyle

An “Hon. Secretary” as he calls himself of some Literary and Philosophical Society at Leeds invites me to lecture;5 I respectfully decline.

The second Portion of the Miscellanies is at sea (it seems) since the 20th of this month, on the way towards London.