January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO ROBERT S. TAIT ; 17 July 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560717-TC-RST-01; CL 31: 125


Chelsea, 17 july, 1856—

Dear Tait,

I may well be ashamed your obliging promptitude should have been checked in that way!— I find it was all a piece of nervous surprise produced by the suddenness of the affair: a shower was falling at the time your men came; her Ladyship had never once dreamt but you would prefer to do the operation there, since it was permitted; supposed your men were mere porters, ignorant how to deal with Pictures, especially in rain &c &c.— In brief, I judge, it will practically now be best to wait till Wednesday next, when the coast will all be clear, and servants still in the House for 4 or 5 days following (I know not precisely how long; but there is always a solid old Housekeeper with assistants, ready to receive anything that is brought):—I will endeavour to have the servants instructed not to interrupt you again. But if they do (in spite of all my endeavours, in that delicate element),—then we will give up the Enterprise altogether, and leave the Little Drummer unphotographed. But I hope better things tho' I thus speak!1— I think, in about a fortnight hence, you will send me, into Scotland, a beautiful little Photograph of the Picture, after all. For which purpose I will leave you my Address:

Mrs Austin / Gill, Cummertrees, / Annan, N.B.

And with or without a Photograph, I surely will not forget your loyal endeavour to oblige me on this as on all occasions.

Yours sincerely always /

T. Carlyle