January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 23 September 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450923-TC-JWC-01; CL 19: 207-208


Dumfries, 23 Septr 1845 / Tuesday—

Dear Goody,—I came up hither yesterday with my Mother; am very poorly this morning (with transient biliary businesses); have almost no time, being already due to Adamson;—but will nevertheless send you a fraction of a word concerning my whereabout and proceedings.—

Before starting yesterday morning I caught the Post with your Letter; Jamie and I, at the corner of the Scotsbrig Loaning,1 in the middle of blustering autumn wind with spittings of rain. I hurried home to read it before setting off. Thanks to my little Goody for her punctual constancy in writing; I have no other hold at present of the current of things. Letters always kind and lively, sure to be agreeable! We will not go into Robertson's eulogy of them; but we will accept them with thankfulness!— Tomorrow on my return I expect all manner of good tidings about the Fuz-Dickens dramaturgy: it was well judged to take a Zweite Fliege; to be independent of the world, and prepared to witness the adventure under rational circumstances.2 I long to hear the history of it.

As to the German Books, the degree of Anmuth [charm] they have will need to suffice them, and may hope to amount to a fulfilment of orders on the subject. If you will make them all up into a Parcel, and send them franco [post paid], with due address, to 12 Gt Stanhope Street, I will write that they are there, and then the job will be done. Or if you cannot make a tight Parcels-Compy parcel, give them to John, and he will do it. I suppose the Lady must be gone to The Grange now; but know not how that may be: at any rate Stanhope Street is the address for the Books.— — I have a good Book of Preuss's on Friederic the Great, at Scotsbrig, which I am reading with satisfaction when I can be left alone to do it, which is rather seldom. I believe I must send for John to come up hitherward out of your way; he will then perhaps “see clearly”;—I do not design to be long here at any rate.

Yesterday the showers brightened up into “sunny-showers,” and then the sky all grew bright as silver,—still with clouds on it at intervals; and I drove my Mother along thro' the still Country with the wind on our backs, handsomely enough. Sun was setting over the steeple-tops, Galloway hills, and windmill “Observatory” of this old Town as we approached it: one of the beautifullest bright-stern melancholy scenes for me I ever saw. We had come by Gill; Mary had herself and the children3 and house all bright-scoured; she is decidedly better, tho' still in a weakly way. Austin and she busy, busy. Crop good; except Potatoes, which, like everybody's, have taken to rot.4 I have to go back thither before quitting for good.— Jean has got all her house sumptuously furnished here; a really beautiful little Town-cottage,—terribly infested with noisy young children.5 James the Husband proves a most active clever fellow in his business, and seems to be very victorious at present in his painting department.— I have moreover a decided prospect of trowser-stuff from the shops today!

Aird came in soon after I arrived, and sat clattering for long.6 The same man; only with a wig now. He has a peaceable time of it here, but one that you cannot well envy. I shall have to walk with him today, were Adamson and business done.

The eldest M'Turk (of Hastings Hall)7 has failed again this season, he among several: failures are the order of the day. The country is getting very full of railway people; waggons of their luggage and apparatus are seen lodged in the villages: all kinds of labour are rapidly rising in price; Stewart and Jamie agreed that draining would have to be given up here for two years.

Everybody inquires zealously for you, sends punctual compliments and such like; but you can suppose it all without much specification. They are really all very affectionate towards you, and towards me also, which I feel sometimes as a reproach and rebuke to me, as well as a possession.

Good b'ye dear Goody; I wish thou wert here to enjoy this bright day beside me! Die Zeit ist da [Time is there];—and die Ewigkeit [Eternity]! T.C.