April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 7 August 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490807-TC-JWC-01; CL 24: 181-182


Glasgow (David Hope's Counting-room) 7 Augt 1849,—

Well, Dearest, here we are; wearied to death, one of us, with trotting over the wet wet beauties of this City,—and latterly with circling far and wide to find Andrew Chrystal1 and the real route to Auchtertoul!—and, at a blessed interval of locomotion, I throw you off a line, to say, among other things, how the route is settled. And W is not at home for the moment; but his Partner describes the road, round by Edinr, Kirkcaldy, with railways, firths and ferries, horrible to the wearied soul, and farther (in point of difficulty) than from Scotsbrig itself: by Scotsbrig, tomorrow at 11½ a.m., I accordingly settle to go; and have written to Jack to meet me at the due hour with Gig and superintendance: so that is fixed; and I must take my first sight of poor Goodykin by some other arrangement. Write to me, write to me, forthwith! Say how you are, what you are after so many separate adventures: ay de mi!

We had a beautiful swift ship from Derry yesterday; the beautifulest sail (by Mull of Cantire, Arran &c) so long as daylight lasted; after dark, I flung myself upon a sofa, fell into leaden sleep, awoke at 1½ a.m., grey and windy weather, saw on reaching deck two cotton chimnies, found Glasgow was but five miles off, and proceeded to rouse the lean body of Wm Edward, whose good humour didn't quite return till this morning's tea, I think! After infinite haggling, bawling, hitching and hobbling to and fro under the grey sooty canopy of what even here is called Heaven, illuminated in fierce glowing pulses by certain Ironworks familiarly denominated “Dixon's Blast,”—we did at last get ashore, amid tumults of dissolute Irishry, copassengers, “the finest peasantry” flying from beggary along with us; and found ourselves seated on our luggage on the pavement; Porter gone to seek a barrow, a noddy [one-horse coach], shandrydan or any human vehicle; finest peasantry exclaiming as it tumbled past “Wish I were in the station-house itself till morning!” No Handcar, noddy, nor barrow were attainable by the fallacious Porter; so he carried, with creaking shoulders, to a “Clyde Hôtel,” dark hospice, the resort of traders, pirates and sea-faring people; where in a dingy apartment, dirty little French bed, with window which let in the roaring noise of an adjoining mill, I nevertheless fell asleep again (I am green-coloured with bile) and so lay till 8 o'clock. After breakfast, and bill paid, a noddy brought us and our things hither; the ever-hospitable Hope (almost my oldest friend now living) offered us escort, dinner &c &c, especially offered one of us a quiet room and bed, at which I eagerly grabbed, Forster putting up with a civilized Hôtel not far off. And so here I am,—alone a little while, thank God!—and within an hour of dinner-time. Forster goes with me tomorrow, right on to Carlisle, and the Lakes; I have given him a line to T. Spedding, and so will handsomely drop him too. Thank God, they are all dropped! F. has been abundantly assiduous, has franked me of all trouble, and leapt like a grasshopper whithersoever I beckoned: but his supply of locomotion exceeds my poor capacities:—Better, in short, “in a place by one's sel”! So was it written from of old.

And now adieu, my Dearest. Here is Hope come in; and I must get myself conveyed to the room I h[ave] there,—to lie down, to lie down, and speak no more! No more for about a week at least. Archy Glen2 too—ach Gott!— Recommend to Walter and your Uncle, and to the pity of all men.

Ever your affectionate

T. Carlyle