The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 23 July 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520723-TC-JWC-01; CL 27: 176-177


Linlathen, Dundee / 23 july (Friday 1 p.m.), / 1852—

Well my Dear, here I am; as well as when you left me, if not a little better: this is the essential fact, and as the post seems just to be making off, I suppose I shall have to pretty much confine myself to this.

—You and Nero vanishing amid the ships of the Pool1 were a wae kind of sight to me in my then and subsequent condition of imagination: if I had a word to say that you and he got home all right, and witht more bother from that knave of a boatman, it wd be very welcome! The Letter I wrote to Erskine on Wednesday had just arrived here an hour or so before I came: you can count that for future guidance.

I got on very well in the Steamer; was nearly utterly silent; found everybody civil & everything tolerably what it should be; the weather was of the best (that first evening Twilight with the ships all hanging in it at the Thames Mouth, like black shadows on a ground of crimson, was a sight to make anybody give way to the picturesque, for a few minutes occasion): I passed almost all my time in reading; smoked, too; and looked, with infinite sorrow yet not unblessed or angry sorrow, into the Continents of Chaos, as is my sad wont on such occasions. I even contrived to get a berth (by good management) where I had a door to shut upon myself, and a torrent of wind running over me all night; where, accordingly, I managed to sleep tolerably well both nights,—and am, as I said, really better rather than worse.

We had some flurry shifting here at Dundee, not directly on to the Pier, but mediately into a “little Steamer” (there not being water enough); our expected time of landing (I was surprised to find) was 8 a.m.; however, we did not land till after 10. No carriage was waiting; which, however, only cost me an additional 5 /, and no kind of additional inconvenience whatever. I found the good Thomas walking under the cool of the trees, not far from the house; I jumped out of my cab and was warmly welcomed by the good man.— They are not “solitary”: far from it! A goodly bevy of visitors male and female, young and old, are here (just eating lunch in these minutes) a strange lady (name not caught) was brot in since I came to write here,—“to be introduced to you Mr Carlyle,”—she is leaving, I think the very rooms to which I am coming! Heigho; I am a good deal flushed too; no quiet yet, nor to be looked for till night. I will join lunch for a glass of wine-and-water; I will bathe in the sea, and endeavour to be as silent as I can. I have written a word to John (here, in Erskine's room, the stillest coolest of rooms); & so will end my writing for today. Give Nero a crumb of sugar in my name, poor wretch. God bless you ever

T. Carlyle