August 1843-March 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 17


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 9 September 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430909-TC-JWC-01; CL 17: 124-125


Edinr 10 [9] Septr (Saturday) 1843—


I am just arrived across the Frith1 about 1 o'clock of the sultriest dusty September day; glad to have got into Gordon's cool drawing-room with a North exposure; and write to my Goody an account of the fact.

Your great thick Letter2 did lie waiting me at breakfast yesterday; the welcomest of sights: thanks, Dear, and never mind all disappointments; the joy of relief from them makes amends for all. Indeed I myself was partly to blame: the Scotsbrig people were ordered, if anything came after Sunday, to forward it to Chelsea. That is all right now.

Thomas Erskine could not come to our Fergusdom yesterday; had a friend's funeral to go to; wrote a polite excuse. I probably shall not see him till Monday at noon on the roof of the Coach in Kirkcaldy. I expect to be a shade happier with Erskine; but there will be no peace for me till I get on board the Steamer and fling myself out at full length with no obligation to speak a word to anybody,—till I get home to my Own with obligation to hear her speak!

Dodds is to be here, and Brown this evening;3 I had written vaguely to Jeffrey; offering to come out if I could; but privately this morning I had made up my mind that I would breakfast with them tomorrow, and stay overnight here rather, beside my pipes and freedom; and now lo, since I began writing to thee, here is a Letter from the Duke precisely to that same tune. I will begin therefore by “calling at Moray Place.”4 I mean to see poor Betty, our Aunts &c; nay there is no “&c” but Sam Aitken, whom I did already try without effect. I avoid all labour, as I do disease, at present.

There was still some hope of the “Fife Cousin” whom I had not forgot.5 If he come tomorrow to preach at Auchtertoul, he will find a Note that I am still there to be dined with at Kirkcaldy on Sunday Evg and no longer: the good Fergus was to write him a Note to that effect this day. A more hospitable Landlord I have never in my life lodged with

Thanks for your news about Alick I shall long earnestly to see the Letter itself: I hope my Mother's too will yet turn up?

Yes, be good, my Duckie, till I come! What can be more absurd than much of that you describe.6 But the way to do with it is to be doubly wise in face of it. My own patience with much of the phenomenon was as good as exhausted.

Will you write then, nay are you writing to Linlathen this day? It will be my last at present: but I myself will write again,—probably the day after tomorrow.

Adieu Dearest Wife. /

T. C.

There is no Boat tomorrow till 4 o'clock; John Fergus is to wait for me (volunteers) at Pettycur (4 miles from Kirky), our only Sunday harbour7