January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JAMES CARLYLE ; 1 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560801-TC-JC-01; CL 31: 146-147


Gill, Friday 1 Augt / 1856—

Dear Jamie,

I am doing excellently well here; have been thrice in the sea, and am just now going again; know the moss roads;1 and in short am getting hefted very fairly. The Mare is a great accommodation; gives me an exceedingly useful and pleasant ride every afternoon (twice over now);—has already learned the right-foot exercise; and in fact is a capital rider. The Canter along these Priest-side Sands is as good as anything I ever tried of that kind. Long miles on miles of the sleekest firm sand, Criffel2 before you Cumberland Skiddaw3 and the sea at your side, and no living creature visible except far inland.— The saddle and bridle—alas I did not know at all that I had any saddle: and here it turns up now perfect, in the nick of time; and is very useful to me; and awakens many sad, affectionate and not unblessed thoughts Thoughts, I do believe, like her4 own. This contrast of the little bit of Time, during which her goodness can be practically useful to her sad son, with the great Eternity which has now divided us,—truly it is sorrowful, but it is grand and high. We will think of it; we will not speak of it.— —

I cannot well get away from my tides, which last at their best, till about Monday next: Monday, as I judge, will be the last of them. I think a little of coming over to you perhaps on Tuesday after dinner, and staying till Thursday (precise): but I do not yet quite know. If you hear nothing farther, you may partly expect me then, about 6 p.m. or so in time for tea.

Jane writes me altogether favourably from Auchtertool. Tell Isabella, she sends her regards in the kindest terms; says she surely will never be within wind of your House without coming thither; had she been the own sister of both of you, you could not have been kinder; and Scotsbrig was always home. These are about her words. We had gone to Dumfries that night the horse came: made a sleepless night for me, tho' all else was comfortable.

Your affectionate

T. Carlyle