July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 4 September 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470904-TC-JCA-01; CL 22: 52-53


Rawdon, 4 Septr, 1847—

Dear Jean,

Your Note came just in time to be sent off to Alick, “as the latest news from Scotsbrig”: I was writing to him Yesterday, the very day yours arrived. Thanks to you for your good news: good most of them, tho' I wish Jenny and Jamie were a little better. Jack often writes a meagre line to me; he also is well.

If you had been to stay till Wednesday instead of Monday, I think you might have seen me at Scotsbrig: I do not yet appoint any day; but that lies within the likelihoods.

We have fixed to leave this on Monday: Saturday was to be the day, but Forster pleaded &c: so we go on Monday forenoon.1 Jane, tending straight southward, has about an hour and half of railway work, to a place called Barnsley (near Sheffield, and itself a biggish Town), where some friends take her out;2 only for one day, as she at present supposes; after which, 4 hours more will bring her to London,—“to get the house scrubbed up” &c &c. I make for Manchester; am to arrive, if all go right, about 4 on Monday afternoon. It is likeliest I will stay all night. But if nobody be there that interests me, of course I will fling myself into the first Ecclefechan train that I can hear of, and come rolling off; I should suppose about 6 hours would now bring one from Manchester: in that case I might see Scotsbrig on Tuesday! But that is not likely at all.— I will write to my Mother from Manchester—for Tuesday morning (if I can) or Tuesday evening (at Scotsbrig); if they do not hear on Wednesday morning, it will be a sign that I am coming in person!— But the next Letter (for a Letter will be better) is to say expressly.— —

Jane and I were for Leeds today, a huge smoky mon[s]ter3 of a broadcloth Town about 7 miles off;—to see the Widow of one Dr Hunter a Cousin of hers,4 whom Jane wishes to call for: there is a “Bradford Railway” squealing and snorting all day and night, about a mile off us, very handy for the trip; but it has begun a kind of drizzly rain; and if that hold, of course we stay still. The weather has been eminent for harvest work all this while; hardly any rain at all, only loud wind for the last 3 days; but I suppose we shall come into the water again directly on crossing the Lancashire Hills,—rainy side of the “Backbone of England”!5 Dear Jean, whether you stay till Wednesday or go, I expect now to see you very soon. Your affectionate

T. Carlyle