The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 7 September 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510907-TC-JWC-01; CL 26: 157-158


Scotsbrig, 7 Septr, 1851—

Many thanks, dear little Goody, for your good kind Note, which I got yesterday, greatly to my satisfaction: it has done and still does me “a deal of good.” Ireland must by this time have brought you my first Note; and F. Jewsbury my second: so that you have news enough of me. But I miscalulated Postal Times, or I would have written to you yesterday over and above: it would have answered much better than it does today (Sunday);—but either way we will make it do; more especially as there is nothing whatever to be written in the way of news or narrative, and all my scribble must amount merely to, “Mamma Theresa, I am here too, and wishing you well!”1

Right glad am I to hear that you take well with Manchester, and are enjoying your little bit of a visit. Be cheery by all means, and amuse yourself what you can. And thank Geraldine and Caliope (the Beautiful-eyed, that is the meaning of her name), and all the other ministers of benefit, male and female, who contribute to your good in that hospitable sojourn.— — I myself continue ourie and dreary, in a state approaching to the inane. But everybody here too is good to me; bears with me, and lets me well alone. Last night I had my first considerable sleep, which surely ought to be of service,—only that the state of my “inside” is “rather exquisite.” I had decided upon Castor for this morning; and wish now I had gone into it: but the hurry was so great, owing to my sleeping longer; I rashly preferred running out (I literally ran) for half an hour's walk. We breakfast daily at 8 o'clock: I dine at 3, on a quarter of a chicken; tea at five (mere drink); some uncertain fraction of supper (porridge oftenest) at 9. I am nothing like come to myself yet;—in fact, I surmise the “Watercure” (especially the long want of sleep) has modified me a good deal for the time being. Courage, and persevere. I still believe I shall be a good deal better when once fairly out of it.

Yesterday I set the Taylor to work, making winter trowsers, a summer coat (for next year), and various etceteras. The summer coat is just like the old one, only better dyed. Of the trowsers I send a specimen, the brown one,—with this question which you are to decide instantly, “Will the said brown specimen do for a winter waistcoat too (with sleeves) to wear along with steel-grey cord trowsers? Or do you prefer the yellowish grey specimen for said waistcoat?” Garthwaite the Taylor pauses for your response.— Also, better perhaps send a nine of buttons for the specimen preferred? Or possibly they can get them well enough here? Your decision of the cloth is the thing indispensable.

Surely you did well to write to Miss Gully: they were as polite and hospitable as human souls could be. We are bound in a deep obligation to them; and must always acknowledge that. But for the rest I fancy I have now quite done with Water-cure; and that a walk in the morning, which habit I design to try if I can acquire, will be the sole result to me of that month of miserable steeping and disorderly donothingism. I have even begun taking coffee again these 3 days,—finding palpable need of it for the present.— — My poor Mother has made me very wae three times over in the past two days, exclaiming as if incidentally, “I wad ha' liked weel to see Jane ance mair!” Good old woman: Oh it is sad to see, this inexorable triumph of Time; and one can do nothing but be silent and admit that it is sad, inexorable and universal. Jamie has just come home from “the Preaching”; brings me The Leader, and some Glasgow Newspaper which poor patient Graham sends silently, containing (I believe) balderdash about Gavazzi,2—whom the Devil is welcome to, if he like. Adieu Dearest. T. Carlyle