April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 17 August 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490817-TC-JWC-01; CL 24: 197-198


Scotsbrig, 17 Augt (Friday) 1849—

Good evening to thee, Goody dear! There are you safe, I hope, at Kirkcaldy; and here am I since yesternight safe at Scotsbrig; and I cannot come conveniently tomorrow, but mean to appear on Monday; and in the mean time send you this to handsel a little your new quarters, for the blotch I sent yesterday from Dumfries will hardly have proved legible. Oh that I could say with effect, Be happy! The wish that I could will be worth something to thee; and to me the writing of it is worth one penny, this evening after tea, while a little light still lingers over Burnswark.

My Mother and I got home, without much rain to ourselves, but amid the plentifullest combination of thunder showers I have seen for years; cloud answering cloud, in great heavy musters, all round from Hartfell to Helvellyn;1 and such a pitchy mass of rain pouring down over Criffel2 and the Solway coast, as held us in a tremulous expectancy all the way. It is the “Lammas Flood”;3 but today is mostly of diamond brightness, and has yielded only one shower just here.— Tom Garthwaite came last night and undertook my trowsers; is to come with them in about an hour hence (and will take this Letter), but if there be changes to make, he will have to take them back for tomorrow: in short I had better wait till Monday. On Monday I propose to start at 10 o'clock (mail train), shall be in Edinr (they say) about 1 p.m.: if you have not yet been to Betty,4 and I could find you there, how happy would it be! But alas, you cannot sail: wd have to go round by Queensferry,5 I suppose; so never mind me, or my vain aspirations: I will get across to Kirkcaldy by the first Boat I can find; and be in at dinner, I do trust, if all go well. I am totally idle here; and, alas, have long been everywhere: pray for me, pray for me!

A quantity of foolish Letters, all answered now (except Plattnauer's) may come with this; read what of them you can, neglect the others. W. Graham's, which came this afternoon inclosed to John, seems to be chiefly written at Mr Fergus: to him you may at once hand it, to light his pipe with (if he have learned smoking now): the affection of the good Grahame is indisputable to old friends; he is in low spirits just now, having lost his last Brother,6 poor fellow. All salute you here, eagerly expect sight of you again. Till Monday— Yours T. Carlyle