January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 29 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560829-TC-JWC-01; CL 31: 199-200


The Gill, Friday morng / 29 Augt, 1856—

Dear little Goody,—I hope you are keeping well at Auchtertool: there has no Letter come today or yesterday, none from anybody; but I send you two that came the day before, and write a little word before getting on the road. I did not get to Dumfries yesterday according to program; the day was all tempestuous rain, from east and then from west steady batterings of pouring rain:—I saved a ride out of it however, and two walks, one wet, the other dryish, in spite of the weather. Today is brisk and sunny; so clear that Criffel, 12 miles off, looks as if you might almost shout over, What o'clock is it? All creatures shearing, here and far and wide, the country white to the scythe “in all the ten parishes” (if there are ten of them).1

To me it is sorrowfully apparent my days here ought to be drawing to an end. My feeling sometimes is almost that of a schoolboy going back from his vacation: I have had such a blink of perfect kindly repose here as has rarely been my lot in the last half century. Too good to last! I know not whether my progress in health is really considerable, but I suppose it is;—except always sleeping but indifferently (rather less than at home) I have seemed to myself progressive every way: nothing has gone wrong with me,—except indeed a new toe, begun at Scotsbrig in the way you heard!2— —My terminus of writing was fairly reached the day before yesterday: this morning, awake in bed, I was seriously thinking whether I cd not have struggled pretty much thro' the other portion too, without more Books, and how much usefuller as well as easier it wd have been to abide here and stick to that! But that will not do now either. I wrote to Lady An, vaguely predicting that I wd come for a couple of weeks,—“most probably come,”—but cd not yet appoint time. So stands it at present:—and I do not even know my road (till I get to Dumfries and look in some Railway Guide); I guess only that it must be by Aberdeen, by Linlathen; and that the sooner we are upon it, the sooner we shall be off it. I want you therefore to fix about Linlathen, either yes or no. (truly which you like), but quàm primùm [quickly],—and if it be “Yes” (between you and Erskinedom), I should say we ought to be there by the end of next week if no sooner, and stay “for 3 days [”]3 (as I said) or what you like. I cd come to Auchtertool and pick you up. Kirkcaldy too, if that were in good humour, I cd look in upon for a night or so, as I came back? But all this can be any way.— The clothes have prospered wonderfully: dressingn very bra' indeed, cape likewise good tho' only black grey.—I am due at Scotsbrig tomorrow (by next day at latest); shd be better here sitting, for my own part of it. Direct hither still till you hear.—Here is a poor heather blossom I plucked for you this morning Adieu, Dearest.

T. C.