January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 8 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560808-TC-JWC-01; CL 31: 159-160


Scotsbrig, 8 Augt, 1856—

Thanks, dear little Goody: your kind little Note was a great and welcome surprise to me here this morning, after my first (or bathing) walk before breakfast: I had no idea you could have so well computed the days, and contingencies of posts.

I came over yesterday afternoon, according to program; dry and unhurt, tho' begirt with thunder-clouds;—drove in the gig, carrying my saddle with me. I am very well (for the present, rain pouring outside, whh must dry before my horse and I can act); I need not say I was well received. I have also the privilege of being left alone this forenoon altogether, and am busy reading Suetonius,1 upon a sofa of due length. People are better to me than I deserve.

Yesternight passing thro' Ecclefechan I put a Letter for you into the Post office; it will be at Edinr tonight, at Auchtertool tomorrow, and I think you will not get it till monday. It was written at Gill, with some private disappointt at not having heard that morning. A weighty Letter; contains cloth and other things! The Cloth concerns a new Dressing-gown; which you will now be able to manage for me: the Letter from Edinr will only take a day to Gill; and a Parcel (if you find right to purchase,— see Letter when it arrives) will cost very little. Do what you find best, when you have seen the Letter now running on its travels.

And thanks again, dear Goody, for your desperate attempts to write,—whh are perfectly successful, you see: the distracted scrub of a steel pen, and gas-light that will not illuminate witht poisoning, cannot prevent one's meaning from shining thro'.

Poor good Betty, with her pale old clean face, and honest afflicted heart! I do return the Donaldson letter2 you see; a touching old record. Do not forget my sincere remembrances and regards; I still recollect Dunbar as the last and liveliest of many fine remembrances of good Sunnybank.3 Say something kind to Mrs Donaldson too;—of her son,4 for instance, how he helps me in my etymological and classical difficulties; and I find him “ready as a pocket-whistle,” up to anything in that kind; the first man of his sort at this day, to all appearance.

And do not stay long at Craigen Villa with its carts going thro' your brain! I surely need not bid you get fast out of that, and back to Auchtertool again.—I return, Sunday evg, or Monday morning, according to the weather. We have had sixty hours of thunder; and it begins again, heavy rain withal. Yours ever, Goody dear T. C.

Since I began writing, little Jenny5 steps up, “Please, uncle &c to tell Mrs Carlyle to come her suin, if she can,” in her mother's name.—Now for Suetonius again till the rain go. (Friday, 1 p. m.)