April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 19 September 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490919-TC-JAC-01; CL 24: 238-239


Scotsbrig, Wednesday 18 [19]!1 Septr 1849—

Dear Brother,

Your Letter came duly; thanks for it. I have today got a Note from Jane at Manchester, indicating that you had kindly gone with her so far yesterday, and were off again in the evening while she wrote,—or was all this “Monday” on your part! At any rate Jane does not go homeward till today; and tonight, we do at last hope, one half of these extensive locomotions will come to a pause. Jane is very grateful for your kindness to her; which she does not specify the details of, but pronounces to have been exemplary.

I have a Note from Neuberg today; offering to “meet me at Derby,” but seeming to expect that I shall refuse; which, beyond dispute, especially after what I now know from you and Jane, I will do, and so give up Nottingham at once and wholly. Thank Mrs Paulet for her hospitable offer: but say that neither must Liverpool now tempt me; my one advisable course is clearly some train of the Caledonian which will carry me at once to Chelsea. I have not yet studied the Railway Bill, much less appointed my day; but such is clearly the method, and about the time you talk of for returning hither,—end of this week or beginning of the next,—I think of getting it executed. I have had three nights of excellent sleep here; more sleep than I have had in me at once for 3 months back. I have the idlest stillest days, quite a treasure to my lazy mind: alas, such a life cannot last long but it is a thing to be thankful for while it does continue.

Jamie's harvest progresses rapidly; he has now five scythes at work; all is ripe: he hopes to terminate at about Saturday night, if the weather hold. The inclosed Note, which I see is from Erskine, seems to have arrived before I came hither, but by some unaccountable mistake, for which Isabella is truly sorry, she had stowed it aside as a Note received from you, and only yesternight late produced it as what it was! Doubtless an invitation from Erskine: it seems to me you should try to combine that journey with Jamie's business, which perhaps you will find when you come back ought not to be delayed longer than is inevitable now.2— Today farther, a big long Letter, seemingly a Pamphlet from somebody, but folded as a Letter with three blue stamps, has come to your address; but in these circumstances we leave it waiting here. I meant however to send you “The Nation” No. 3, wh is better than No 1 (No 2. did not come to me at all): but probably you have little time to read it where you now are.

Mother is very well,—and well affected towards you always. The water-barrel, which yields me daily an ample tub for bathing, has tinctured its water with a perceptible flavour of palled wine, not pleasant to the nostril while using it! The poor old Cow is still alive, down in a bottom near that stone chasm where I have sometimes bathed; nobody will kill her for my urging, “they have no gun” they say.

I hope you will be here before I go, or that we shall meet somewhere or other on the route. Enough for this day. I am reading the little Voyage d'Espagne.3 I have read the Yankee Thoreau's galimathias4 yesterday. Yours ever / T. Carlyle