January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO WILLIAM MAXWELL ; 20 April 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420420-TC-WIMA-01; CL 14: 156-157


Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan / 20 April, 1842—

Dear Sir,

Thanks for your punctuality and other kindness; thanks to his Grace for answering so civilly,—for answering at all!

I have written to Mr Hunter of Morton Mill to do what you counsel, so far as possible, so soon as possible.

It is not, I believe, in the power of any living person to make out a detailed specification of improvements at Templand: those who accomplished that long operation, my Mother-in-Law, her Father, her Sister, are all gone to the land of Silence; and of us that survive, nobody I apprehend ever turned a practical thought to the matter, or knows more of it than I do, which is simply as good as nothing. Hunter himself, till two years ago, only saw the matter from afar, and is without specific knowledge of it. We can only say in the gross: “To converting Templand out of black sluttish squalor into trimness, comfort and elegance”—so many pounds sterling! To yourself the best proof that the claim is grounded will perhaps be this fact, that the Farm as now let, together with the house as capable of being let, will jointly yield £15 a-year more than the rent paid for it; that I meant to let Jardine have it at an equivalent for £10 a-year more (being advised that it was too tight for him at £15), which sum he will cheerfully give, and consider the bargain as a benefit.— I certainly shall consider his Grace preferable as paymaster to any Jardine!—

If you will be so very obliging as cooperate with Mr Hunter in expediting this affair; so that, instantly on getting notice that all lies ready, I may hasten up to Thornhill once more, to sign and to finish, and thereupon to get back to my own place and my own business, it will be a great kindness shewn me.

I remain / Dear Sir, / Yours very truly

T. Carlyle

W. Maxwell Esq &c &c