The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 21 April 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410421-TC-JAC-01; CL 13: 107-108


Dumfries, 21 April, 1841.

My dear Brother,

We have arrived here,1 Alick and I, about two hours ago, not without difficulty (the Scotsbrig stud being one of the weakest ever seen, at present); and found our Mother, thank Heaven, decidedly in the way of recovery; growing gradually, slowly but steadily better, as she says, for a week past. She has been up all daytime these two days past; the Doctor (one MacLellan,2 an acquaintance of yours) has now ceased to give her anything, and merely orders a course of bitters, to promote the general strengthening of the stomach. Our poor Mother! She was surprised and very glad to see us. She does not look much different from what she was wont. I propose taking her home (where she is very anxious to be) tomorrow in a chaise. The weather is too cold for a Gig. We have some speculation about getting to Thornhill or Templand3 tonight; but I fear it will misgo.— On the whole, things are better than I expected here.

They have your two Shades,4 which they are very proud of. The likeness is very recogniseable; but the primness of the upper lip is exaggerated.— — James Aitken has got a Letter from Mrs. Welsh, about paper-hangings &c, today; all is therein reported “well.” You can step down to Jane at Chelsea, and tell her your news of tonight. I write amid bustle enough, and the noise of many voices; I do not send anything to her by this post. No Letter from her had come to Leeds, I think; at least none was at Ecclefechan this morning. Last night I had a better kind of sleep. … We called at the Austins' Gill;5 indeed our Gig lay there (in a state of dilapidation,—now repaired), and the nag was working at the harrows. It is a neat little Farm; comfortable it promises to be in all senses; good houses built or building, a good landlord and factor, &c, &c.: I do expect the poor Austins will be better there than they have ever before been. Mary had just had a new daughter,6 two days ago. …

We are now past eight p.m., and there is little hope of Templand tonight! Tomorrow, if we all prosper!— Go to my poor Jane, and tell her all this; and also that very soon I will come and tell it all myself.

Mother, Jean, James and Sandy, all at my hand, do expressly salute you. Your affectionate Brother / T. Carlyle.