January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO LADY ASHBURTON ; 26 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560826-TC-LA-01; CL 31: 192-193


The Gill, 26 Augt, 1856—

Dear Lady,

Your Letter came four days ago; like a star, carrying light about it into dark places. It has been passing thro' “the Government Offices” (so we may say) ever since;—and I cannot expressly answer yet for a day or two, except in general that I think I shall succeed to come for a couple of weeks!

Today my time is done altogether,—wasted out in the vain struggle to finish some Brandenburg rubbish, for much is wending towards a close in these parts:—but this much I make haste to write. More in a short time.

Jane still continues with Fife for her headquarters; to which she was to return yesterday, after two weeks in Haddington, Edinburgh &c: she gives good account of herself; will not come into this southern country for some time yet. We are to meet, I rather think at Linlathen (Dundee region) within a fortnight: she declines Cortachie, declines &c; is to end in Annandale. So that I shall not have the Royal Vehicle again to go home in, but must leave Poodle and others in my place.

The route thro' Loch Ness,1 by Steamer from Glasgow towards you, does not seem to be clear. A Glasgow authority (perhaps not well informed?)2 threw nothing but darkness on the matter, when questioned. At any rate there is a known rail to Aberdeen; there is certainly a road, by land or water, to the Capital of the Highlands.3

I am doing still tolerably well in health, steadily profiting by my country regimen; but swim generally in a most viscous and by no means luminous element of meditation in my solitude. As is the nature of the beast. Idle gazing, for most part, into the dim element, instead of active looking and discerning less or more.

The world is all yellow here from the knoll-tops far and wide. Two parties of mowers (with gatherers and binders,—they do not use the hook) are visible to me here:—rain evident in Cumberland, but to us sunshine (temporary) and a brisk west-wind.

Adieu, O Queen; all good be with you always. Yours / T. Carlyle