January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 20 September 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450920-TC-JWC-01; CL 19: 203-204


Scotsbrig, Saturday Night 20 Septr, 1845—

Thanks, Dearest, for your Letter of today. All your Letters entertain me, on what subject, from what place soever, there is an entertaining quality in Goody. Moreover, if not Punctuality's Self, she is as near Punctuality as one can reasonably come for practical purposes! Poor little Goody!—

I am still in a rather low way here; not habituated to my new scene; much infested with uncertain weather; denied the privilege of an effectual sleep. Yesterday, as you would incidentally hear, Jamie and I went off for Gillenbie. There had been two muddy days before that, in which I had got no suitable exercise; and I was not prepared for the cold of the new dry weather. We found Stewart; found certain horrible Annandale female Persons of Quality; traces of “Gunner Bodies”1 &c; and had not an entirely successful day! Stewart is a fine hardy little fellow; and I liked well enough to talk and walk with him over the fields: but it was very sad otherwise! We got off before dinner and the Gunner Bodies; drove along thro' the chill clear Twilight; silent grassy hills, and rustic homesteads;—were very glad of a cup of hot tea, and some substantial kind of victual, when we arrived here. I had got a kind of despicable rheumatism in my neck and shoulders, which still sticks there, somewhat to my annoyance: but I have decided on vigorous measures (best kept secret) for tomorrow! On the whole I grow clearer; but the element in many respects is still very sad and alien to me. My Mother is much weaker: it would affect you to see how her hand shakes, and with what good humour she takes it;—how all is grown old and weak with her, except her affection which seems younger than ever! One thinks of Immortality at sight of such things—O God!—

Our weather is like yours; off and on; but we are far stronger in mud than you! One requires wooden shoes, which I have not, impervious clothing, and a resolution to be indifferent to mud.— — However, I have seen Grahame,—poor old Grahame; seen Stewart: that is two things done. On Monday I go off for Dumfries; have written to Adamson that I will settle accounts with him on Tuesday: there a third thing will be done. I have also corrected a bit of the Index which came today. By degrees we shall get thro' our things!— Tonight I meant to have walked with this and other Letters to Ecclefechan: but after tea, it set steadily in to rain. I sit here with solitary fire and candle in the East room.

What will become of Mazzini's Jewess? Will she hang herself at Aberdeen, or how? Que le monde est rempli d'imbecilles [How full the world is of imbeciles]!— — Take care of thyself poor Goody; yea; and love me in spite of all!— Here is my Mother come in with a sheet of Cromwell (most intent upon it, “a great and good man”!) and charges me to send her “kind thanks and all loving regards.” Good night, Dearest: a kind Good-night out of the depths of Annandale darkness

T. C.