The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 8 July 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410708-TC-JAC-01; CL 13: 175


Scotsbrig, 8 July, 1841.

My dear Brother,

Jane has doubtless communicated my history to you, as it arrived at Chelsea; how Newington House would not do at all; how hardly anything promised to do; and now today how I have taken a cottage of Slater's,1 furnished and ready, at Newby,—a lonely-standing, dainty but extremely small kind of Bathing Mansion, for four weeks beginning in a fortnight hence. That was the best I could do. If the man Slater refuse me, I shall not even have done that! But I expect he will accept. We shall be fairly out of Annan; shall have a horse, sea-bathing of a sort; and be in the middle of all our friends, who, my Mother among them, may come in succession, and bathe beside us there. After a month we can stay longer or go anywhither. The rent is two guineas a week. I am very glad to have it settled any way.

My voyage after I parted from you was in the highest degree monotonous, silent, grey-weathered outwardly and inwardly; a kind of stagnation or almost annihiliation2 of one's whole being for two days; which perhaps was useful too. On the Friday and Saturday I surveyed Tyndale from the very mouth of the river to its source,3 and found it an interesting country; the more so as nothing but what was rather pleasant befel me there. The people I observe are, properly speaking, Scotch, and their dialect as well as the features of their countenance are pure Annandale: the Scotch of Roxburghshire,4 &c.; which curiously enough, meets another sort of Western Scotch, precisely about Dumfries, or at Dodbeck between Annan and Dumfries!

Our good Mother is well here again, as they all are, in a tolerable degree. Jamie's Boy alone still suffers from illhealth;5 but is considered to be growing better. Alick has gone over to Liverpool yesterday, not to be back till Tuesday; in quest of merchandise goods &c: he seems to be going on fully better than when we last saw him. …6

Adieu, dear Brother: write to us directly. All here love you.

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle.