August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 13 August 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460813-TC-JWC-01; CL 21:11-12.


Scotsbrig, 13 Augt, 1846—

Dear Jeannie, what am I to make of this continued silence? No Letter this morning still! Do you remember when you called four times at the Seaforth Post-Office yourself? It surely is not fair. Write to me as briefly as you like, but write. There can be no propriety in punishing me by such feelings as these are. It is like seething a kid in its Mother's milk.1 If I cared less about you, the punishment would be less! It is not fair, nor right.

Yesterday I attempted to walk off my cold; went out with your Letter accordingly to meet the Waterbeck Post (for our Post-office is moveable here, and walks on two legs); after finishing with whom I made a long circuit with strenuous contempt of toil and omission of dinner: this morning I awoke at 3, but nevertheless do feel considerably better; and look out upon the pouring rain with some contentment at my yesterday's stock of exercise. This is Lamb-Fair day:2 Jamie went off with a thousand lambs for sale, an hour after I awoke, amid winds and deluges; I took a cup of tea with him along with my pipe down stairs; I fell twice asleep again for a little while; and am, as I said, somewhat better.— The Cow intended for Seaforth, it is feared, will not answer: her copious milk when tried by itself proves thin, and seems not to be rich in butter or cream. There is another of the pure Galloway breed, which can be altogether recommended, except that she is eight years old,—only some five or some six years more of effectual milking in her. Her price will be I know not what,—cheaper than the other. Failing her, there is another Galloway quite young, now giving her first milk; she and no other that is yet discoverable. Jamie declares it impossible altogether to buy a good milk Cow in any market, or by any general method here,—possible only to buy a good-looking Cow which may prove good or not good.— Till I hear something, I think I need not speak more on this subject.

My poor pocket-comb, if it be not left at Seaforth, is lost; which grieves me a little. Also the boots which you intended for my Mother, which I first recollected to speak to her about, this morning: I think they must be lying at Seaforth, for I assuredly packed them in at Chelsea, and they are not here— My poor old Mother was much gratified to think you had remembered her in that way:3 “they wd be worth two pair of new ones to me.” Isabella, in a very authentic manner has expressed the loyal joy it would give her to see you here: in fact they do all love you truly, and deeply grieve to hear of your being unwell at present. What thoughts I have of it, day and night, I will not state at all, till there come some means of getting belief to my words again. O my darling, if you could look into my heart of hearts I do not think you could be angry with me, or sorry for yourself either. May good Angels, instead of bad, again visit you;—may I soon meet you again, for I still think I can be your good angel if you will not too much obstruct me! Will you meet me on the road to Haddington? Shall we go to some quiet lodging on the Coast together? Write me, write me!

Ever yours

T. Carlyle

I send the Peel correspondence (the two Letters4) to Darwin; that is all my correspondence today. Flint's American Geography (a romantic piece!) and some tobacco are all my employment in the rain.5