The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 27 August 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520827-TC-JWC-01; CL 27: 256-257


Scotsbrig, 27 Augt, 1852—

There has not come the scrape of a pen today, my last day; a thing which greatly surprised and disconcerted me at the first blush of it! Few sadder days have I had in my life; in such a whirlpool of confusions outer and inner: a word of sympathy from Goody wd have been very precious,—a word on business even, to let me know you got the two Letters and were trying! One word to say, “Call, then, at the Post-Office, Edinr”: I shd have travelled all the lighter tomorrow morning. Dreadful surmises (in my present humour) were not wanting—that John Welsh yesterday had met with some accident in his balloon &c &c:—but these I have waved aside; and will endeavour to help myself along, the best way I can.— If there be nothing for me at Edinr, after all? Well, that will be a business! On the whole, never do the like again, if you can help it,—when one line of writing is all that is needed. Oh Goody, Goody!

My Packing is done or nearly so: would the day were done, and I away, for it is like to break my heart.1 Such a mixture of the Highest and the Lowest, all set whirling round one and in one,—I never had in quite the same degree before.

Yesternight before sunset I walked solitary to Stockbridge Hill Top,—the Burnsward2 made road; one of the loneliest in all Britain, where you go and come, 3 miles, 10 times witht meeting a human soul. Strange earnest light lay upon the mountain tops all round, strange clearness, solitude (as if personified) upon the near bare hills,—a silence everywhere, as if premonitory of the grand eternal one! I took out yr letters, and read them over again; but did not get much exhilaration there either. On the whole, I was very sore of heart; and pitied my poor Jeannie heartily for all she suffers, some of it that I can mend and will, some that I cannot so well, and can only try! God bless thee ever, dear Jeannie; that is my hearts prayer, go where I may, do or suffer what I may.

I am to be a[t]3 Rotterdam on Monday; at Bonn (probably) on Wednesday night: thither aim. And so adieu, Dearest.—

T. Carlyle

Regards to poor Forster on Sunday,—don't forget!