January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 12 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560812-TC-JCA-01; CL 31: 166-167


Gill, 12 Augt, 1856—

Dear Jean,

I came back last night, whole and well (all but a speck of skin lost from one of my toes, by defect of shoes in the glarry weather): I had waited the last 24 hours in expectation of the rain ending, which it at length did. I kept well, tho' with sad objects round me all the time I was there; managed to get a ride or two over the wildernesses; and was very affectionately treated: but on the whole I find roving does me mischief; I am better the quieter I keep,—better here with my bits of papers, and mere silence round me. It was such a 60 hours of thunder, and then such a Ditto of rain, as I have seldom seen.

Here was a Note lying from Jack; whh I send you first; to be sent on to Scotsbrig next. Just put it into an empty cover; write “all well,” if you have no notion of more; and despatch it: I have written a word that explains.—Neuberg my German, I find, is bending towards those Geneva regions on some tour; I have a thought to give Jack and him a chance of meeting,—but perhaps shall not have time today.

Jane, from whom I have three Notes is at Haddington among the kind old Donaldsons, who will not let her go for the whole of this week; about next Monday she returns to Fife, without pausing hardly at all, as she anticipated, with her Aunts at Edinr. She is well, for her; and full naturally of many emotions among her old Friends, and earliest Scenes whh are now so altered to her, according to the common lot.

She approves of the grey check, as “a very nice pattern,” tho' perhaps the cloth might be finer:—since that is so, I will write to her this day, that we will simply stand by it, then; and that she need not give herself the trouble of a ride to Edinr. Do not altogether buy, however, till I hear again that she has not gone to Edinr and bought!

For the rest the Tailor is here just now (upon Austin's work); and is appointed to appear on Friday morning, and start with me. So we must attend to that date. I fear, therefore, we shall not be quite up to the Glasgow patterns if you have got them; at least we must have something else to start with. I send another pair of samples, whh I had thought of before,—one pair of trowsers from each, since you object to the other corduroy. Those latter will really do well enough; one of them (simple as a waistcoat-back, never mind) is supple as air, very cheap too; and corduroy like the other (only it might be softer and thinner witht harm) is my regular wear. Will do very well.— I forgot when you were here that I wanted a Cape too, of humble plaiden stuff (if the man know how to cut it?)—perhaps Glasgow can do something for us there?— No more: at least till I have done writing, and come to seal.— Your affecte

T. Carlyle

(Nothing more to add; Horse coming in grt haste! / 2.p.m)