August 1843-March 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 17


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 28 August 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430828-TC-JWC-01; CL 17: 98-100


Scotsbrig, 28 August, 1843—

The smallest of Notes, my little Dear, will suffice thee today; for indeed there is nothing to be said since yesterday, or hardly anything.

Jack went away this morning shortly after six: I had shifted beforehand into the other (what I call the eastern) room; and did not see him, tho' I heard the sound of him. He will be in Liverpool about an hour hence if he have prospered. Arbuckle is to sail for Pernambuco1 on Wednesday; Jack's sole errand that I could see was to accommodate poor Arbuckle, who is disappointed of remittances, with a loan to enable him to embark. This of course is a secret. I approved of the loan; and indeed should have felt impelled, had I been the party admitted into confidence, to have advanced it to him myself. He has laid out all his money, not in schemes of his own, but in setting up his poor brother and sisters who had no other resources. He has in those Equinoctial Countries a fair chance of doing well.— Jack's program did not extend beyond Liverpool; but it is likeliest he will before long move towards London “to seek lodgings.” It would not surprise me if he went over to the Paulets, and staid a few days with them, should they ask him. He was very sorry at going away; everybody was sorry, yet could not help feeling it as a relief. He is very unhappy, and will require to be more so before a resolution is possible for him, which is the only remedy possible. His good nature too has very considerably diminished. One's best resource with him is reserve. If you lodge him aloft, and give him breakfast patiently, he will not trouble you much till I come, should he get thither before me.

I have this [day]2 declined Spedding. The weather is all broken into mud again; I am much out of sleep; have no heart for Speddingdom. Fergus I have not yet answered: if the weather brightened up, I should have a considerable temptation towards Dunbar,—and of course Dunbar would include many things in that quarter. One can get from Dumfries to Kirkcaldy in a day. Before tomorrow night I shall require to decide about that too. Fitzgerald, whose Letter is here, has been directed to arrive at Naseby when he likes, and then straightway to tell me that he has arrived. If before Saturday first, it is to be directed to Maryland Street. For, in fine, failing Kircaldy3 and all things, it is not unlikely I may in despair throw myself into the Annan Steamer of that evening (much as I hate it), and coming home to my bed at Chelsea. You I daresay are the quietest at this season! By Kirkcaldy I should have to linger for a week longer. Our poor Cousins are no annoyance to me here:4 in fact I see almost nothing of them; sitting (with a fire today) in my own private apartment!

You will receive perhaps along with this a Banker's Letter for Sixty Pounds.5 You are to lock it up in a safe place, and never fash [worry] your little thumb till I return; the cash will not be due for three weeks yet.

Was there not something more to say? Nothing; except that if I had Goody here I would—give her a good beating, I think! She is the worst wife ever a poor Author in my circumstances was tried with; a most unrestful, bug-destroying, house-painting, destructive Goody; whom, if I had her here, I would———! Blessings on thee, poor lassie “after all.”6— T. C.