January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 25 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560825-TC-JWC-01; CL 31: 190-192


The Gill, 25 Augt, 1856—

Thanks, Dearest: your Letter is the nicest thing I have had for a week past; you have no idea how much good it did me! In the blustery rainy morning, with nothing but imbroglios of Brandenburg waste heaped round my sad thots and me,—and “three tailors in the house, all alike gleg!”1— Unhappily I have scribbled so long over Kaiser Sigismund2 and other fools, I have no time left for you today; but must welcome my poor Goody back to Auchtertool, and say she is always my dear Goody, if I can do nothing more.

Your Program is altogether wise; and shall hold in every particular that depends on me. Right as to Cortachy &c; send emotional Cortachy altogether a-packing. You can go to Kirkcaldy if you like for a day or two, with advantage;—and pray make my peace with Miss Jessie,3 to whom I really feel nothing but kindness and gratitude; wishing only she wouldwhen human nature is bored, and how natural it is for human nature to run in such case. We will also do Linlathen for a few days (agree for those, if you like); and meet there, either as I go north or south,—if I go at all, whh must now be seriously considered,—if I had leisure, as I shall in two days or so. For my Brandg rubbish is getting to a period: not the end, I am sorry to say; but the middle (end of “Book I part 2d”) where a pause has become necessary. I read the remaining stuff last night; found it frightful, unmanageable (that “part 3d”),—not to be attempted till I get home to my Books.—The journey “by the Caledonian Canal,”4 does not promise to be feasible: young Jamie of Scotsbrig who was here yesterday, answered more hindrances to that part of the enterprise. Which looks rather ugly, I confess, on all sides. But I must go somewhither too: shearing will begin here (in a sort) this week,—tho' the[y]5 profess loudly, “that will be nothing!” In fact, their kindness, and the unwearied attention of everybody, down to the youngest children (never yet have I failed of finding one little short-skirted blithe-faced elf, waiting with the gate in its hand, as I came home riding, still less went away),—their kindness, I say, is something really notable: but one shd quit all things of that sort in time. Work being once done, I think of doing a day or two with Jean (perhaps, tho' the scene is far less quiet and far less wholesome for me), then perhaps a day or two at Scotsbrig: after whh—? In the course of next week something must be set about. This is all I can say or guess:—we end in Annandale; can go by Liverpool if you like, and divide the journey. I hope you are much better, poor soul? I myself am perceptibly so: all owing to country regimen; never had such a chance at that in my life hardly as in these last 4 weeks.

That was an excellent movement that shaking of hands with poor William Swan. That he is grown “fat” seems strange, like other things of the kind. He was a Boy about the length of my leg when I got any impressions of him: two younger Brothers,—I do not know which is he. No more human and innocent-hearted family of helpful brother-mortals ever came across me than that of his late father and mother; whose remembrance must be far gone if I ever forget.

And what is this of Samuel Brown's illness? Tell me, tell me. I expect to work all the Edinr small-news out of you by degrees. Mrs Anderson (born Grove) I remember well; a florid young woman with decayed teeth; the husband too;—and they are come to what you say. Poor Betty must decidedly have you in your “bare pow”; the picture here, I often think, will suit her to a nicety; I could know (almost) by the bare pow if the face were hid.— — —Candidly speaking, I have not seen the Tailors at all yet; the man said he cd do very well with a model pair of trowsers, and I was too glad to leave him so. But I must now,—after riding (between showers), and after dining etc Adieu dear Jeannie; good go ever with you. T. Carlyle

The blockhead A. Ker sends another Letter (hardly legible) about his having overstated the case agt Mrs Alfred and his promotion;6 about &c &c—As if any mortal cared about it either way. No other Letters; which I reckon a furtherance and blessing after its sort.

No news of Chelsea, and Nero or anybody? I hope all goes well; and that he will not worry the Canaries, or run off as “not understood in this house.”7