January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 12 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560812-TC-JWC-01; CL 31: 167-169


Gill, Tuesday (12 Augt, fatal to black game!)1 noon, 1856—

Thanks dear Goody: I got two of your Letters here, when I arrived last night; and the other has come this morning: very well, very well indeed. You will surely be better at Sunny Bank than you could almost anywhere be; very clearly better than at any Craigen where waggons roll upon one's brain all morning. It is quite affecting, all that comportment of the good old Women; the scene in general is naturally the saddest but also the sacredest of all scenes to my poor little Jeannie;—it does one good to be sad in such a way, and is better than any joy now left, or indeed that one ever had.

The 60 hours of thunder were succeeded by a 60 hours of rain, part of it pouring deluge, the most of it tempestuous drizzle, all of it very uncomfortable. I got a ride daily nevertheless; one a fine long one, thro' the desarts of Linbrigford and the Upper Kirtle Water2 (in the visitation of the winds, and of nothing else), other two were shorter, and the last of them at 10 p. m.,—very useful all. Kindness could not be more complete; but I had far too much talk. On Sunday I made a visit, not to any Church, but whither you can guess;3 had a few sacred moments there, standing with bared head out of sight: surely there is not any mystery more divine than this unspeakably sad and holy one. There they were, all lying at peace, having well finished their fight: “very bonny, very bonny,” as poor old Mary Mills said of Another4 in the like case. Yes, my Jeannie, you may sit and take “a good cry by yourself”; for there is no other language equal to it.— — Let us turn to other things at present.

I have a Letter from Neuberg this morning; a bit of Inclosure, abt Reichenbach,5 intended for yourself. Better send it to the man; advise him to try if he cannot reasonably get home again? He will never do in America.— Jack also writes out of Vevey; seems to intend hovering abt there, witht any definite plan as yet,—only to be home “at the beginning of Septr.” I have some thots of bringing Neuberg and him to bear on one another.— Return me N.'s Letter when you have done with my part of it, whh is worth reading, as a picture from foreign parts.— Tait gave a hint abt expenses from porters and workmen abt that Picture I have made him settle that at once, and I pay him tomorrow (by stamps from Annan) 5/3,—very glad to end that. Foxton writes again; babble mainly, the answer to whh is Nothing or No. Also Patmore (urged belike by the Medallion6 ) has been writing me about “helping” his Poem &c. Ended too, or nearly so. What is Delaine's first name,7 do you recollect? Poor souls, after all.8

Since you approve of that Dressing-gown, let that be the stuff: I will by no means entail on you a ride to Edinr, in hope of doing better. Only write, immediately, that you have not gone, or bought anything; then we will buy. I wanted a Cape too, now I recollect, of rustic plaiden, duffle or other such structure:—if by chance you have anything to say abt stuff for that? I do not the least know what quantity either for dressing gown or that; but the Shopmen all know at once: item the Route hither is Caledonian Railway to start with; it then turn up from Longtown (thro' Annan on this “S. Westn Line” I think they call it9 ); and is here in a dozen hours or so,—cheap. A shopman again, if you impress it on him, can take charge of that; and I am told it is best not to prepay your Parcel.— — In fine Goody dear, write to me that you are not going to Edinr at all in our time (Tailor is here on Friday morng next), with yr advice upon the Cape, and that will be shortest of all. And be quiet, and good, and careful of yourself;—and may all Good be with my poor Goody ever! T. Carlyle