The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 28 July 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520728-TC-MAC-01; CL 27: 191-192


Linlathen, 28 july, 1852

My dear Mother,

Along with the Newspapers, I will send you a word of writing, to keep your good heart in peace, and prevent sinister imaginations about me. I got John's second Note this morning;1 and bid you give him many thanks from me for both of them: he sends me good accounts of you and of Scotsbrig generally;—and I hope it will not be long till I hear the like from him again.

I am beautifully lodged here: a great large house with few people in it; they have given me a big bedroom (directly over Mr Erskine's sitting-room, which John of course recollects); it looks towards the northwest, out upon the grass and trees, here I sit all forenoon in great privacy over my Books; here I sleep all night with open window: it is one of the most silent, fresh and eligible places I have ever lodged in. The weather also is really quite excellent: the heat of it is never in the least oppressive here, one can run out under the shade of thick trees with any book one is reading, and there is always some breath of air astir. No better weather could be wished; and indeed it seems to have all along been good, and to be doing the work of good weather: for there is such a crop as I have seldom seen (such wheat far surpasses what they shew in the South, as far as I have noticed), and it is rapidly coming towards ripeness, in another fortnight all will be white. The only drawback, in this matter of crop, is that the Potatoe-disease has again decidedly made its appearance, they say, in a very vigorous form; so what is to become of that unfortunate root must be considered quite uncertain again.— — If to all this we add the unaffected kindness of my good hosts, you will understand that in point of being “lodged” there are few of her Majesty's subjects so well off as I! I have nevertheless had a great tumult of biliary confusions ever since I landed,—the voyage, quiet as it was, having tumbled me quite topsy-turvy;—but I am slowly, every day, getting a little cleared into composure out of all that, and doubtless so soon as I am out of it, I shall feel improved by these biliary revolutions. I have bathed twice in the Sea water, which was very excellent both times, but does not quite suit my hours,—for one is a little dependent on the state of the tide here, and when that is very low, there is but a stony confused receptacle offered to the adventurous bather, which I did not think of venturing into. Thomas E. takes me down, however, almost daily to the cool seabeach, and then walks me on the hard damp sand (for which I have gutta-percha), amid incessant talking, almost farther than my present biliary condition will comport.— We are happily very quiet, hardly more than 3 in number since the day after I came; whh is greatly to my mind: but there are others coming tomorrow, again others; one cannot hope to have the gang always to oneself! I shall do my ten days, there is good likelihood, with comfortable success.—Yesterday I had a letter from Jane; who professes to be well, but is getting little sleep, poor thing. She is going into the country in the end of this week (to see poor Mrs Macready who is hopelessly ill): that will be slight interval to the noise.— Blessings on you Dear Mother. Love to all. Yours ever T. C.

Writing, especially at this low table, always give me a headache; so I cease, and carry my Bout2 out under the shadow of a big tree,—where I have tobacco too!