The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 2 August 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520802-TC-JAC-01; CL 27: 198-199


Linlathen, 2d August 1852—

Dear Brother,

I got your Letter1 this morning, no sooner (for we seldom send at night to Broughty), such is the time a Letter takes. On returning from Moffat, you will find a Note from me; and so can answer this and it at once.— I have not the least news; only that I continue well, and indeed am daily getting clearer of all the biliary confusions my journey had brot upon me.—Jane will be returning this day from Sherburne, a rather melancholy journey; I shall probably not hear from her till Wednesday at soonest.

My “studies” here amount, alas, to a nearly imaginary quantity: but I am religiously let alone till about 3 p.m. every day; and that is a real blessing to me. I do read German Books, but also frequently smoke, and my thoughts go wandering far enough from study.— Tomorrow we have to go and dine with Miss Stirling Graham (a collateral of “Cursed Clavers,”2 and a very clever little stout dame, if you know her); I hope this will be my only feat in that line on the present occasion.

Does my poor Mother often lie in bed in these warm days? Alas, alas, the thought of it makes me sad,—tho' probably it is all as it should be, and not a matter for sorrow chiefly.— — Tell me a little what are the Lodging capabilities of Scotsbrig at this time? I could stay 10 days with you: but of course 3 wd suffice for any errand I have. My time is nearly out here; and tho' they want me to continue, I fear it is only to the good Thomas that I am a real convenience: not to say that one should endeavour to keep one's term when a term was set: some day or other, this week, I believe I shd be off. This afternoon, moreover, “the Patersons”3 are returning from London, Mrs Paterson in very weak health; which of course is another monition that “important strangers” (for they do bother themselves too much about me) ought to be mindful of their duty. Add to all which, the two man-servants are off this morning,—gone to California, the fools; a new set is coming not yet come!

There are a Lord and Lady Airly that wanted me to come and see their place,—Cortachy, Kirriemuir;—but they are young not very wise people; their place is 25 miles off; and I cannot think of turning in that direction. I calculate rather on getting home all at a stretch on the day I leave this,—tho' I should like a glance (and only one) of the Ferguses and Gordon as I pass. To both of whom I have written accordingly today. Gordon I have addressed “University Chambers” (which I suppose will at last find him): it strikes me as likeliest he is not in town at all; and this probably is “just as well.” In fact I am really still in doubt whether to send on the two notes, or to suppress them, and ride silently past these old friends! But that is mere cowardice too, and the fruit of lively humours, whh ought not to be too far followed.

Poor Helen Welsh does not seem to be in a good way,—poor good soul, I am truly sorry for her! That Philp, if I recollect him rightly, is a sensible kind of fellow.4

Tell my dear old Mother I hope soon to see her face again;—give my heart's love to her and all the rest. Yours ever

T. Carlyle

I have destroyed Gordon's Note; the Fergus goes!—.