January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 2 September 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560902-TC-JAC-01; CL 31: 210-211


The Gill, 2 Septr, 1856—

My dear Brother,

I bid you welcome home again: I found your Paris Note here last night, as I returned from a 3-days round, of Dumfries and Scotsbrig,—in the dusk of the grey still evening. Pity you did not find that Paris letter of mine on your calling at Poste Restante. However, I rather confidently hope you would find it on Friday morning before quitting Paris: I think it was due then or on Thursday night. So far I can bethink me, it went off hence on the Wednesday afternoon: I could have written it 48 [hours]1 sooner and no more; but I waited till the hurry of my job shd end, not counting there was haste in the matter to that length. Thither at any rate a Letter went; and there or in your possessn it must now be.

All is well as before, with me and among our connexions here. Harvest weather seems to have come steady at last; and all hands are busy,—Scotsbrig since Saturday afternoon, Austin since a week earlier,—the whole country white under the bright still “mackerel-sky” (totally windless and Septr-like today, after much blowing, thundering and tossing); a goodish crop I everywhere hear; only the potatoes gone their usual road, or worse,—“ruin like that of 1846”2 in some cases; comparatively little mischief done in others, as here at the Gill. Jamie's John was lashing and mowing (laid oats) whn Jamie and I visited him yesterday afternoon; Isabella is stronger than usual: her Letter at any rate you would find on Monday Evg, I think.

My own poor Jane was very prosperous, till she caught a bad cold abt a week ago, “hearing Dr Guthrie in Edinr”; with whh she has lain prisoner ever since at Auchtertool, cannot attend me to Linlathen, cannot have the least share in my adventures Northwards. So that I am thrown again upon my vague calculations as to all that (and can calculate nothing, not having yet got even a “Murray's Time-tables,” Septr Copy not come to Dumfries on Saty, August one quite done): at present I rather incline for Glasgow, Oban and the Lakes by Steam; only the “3 nights at inns” make me shudder. One way or other I must settle it in 2 days. Till Friday morning (after Post-time) I am here; on Friday some hour or other I must be off. Right sorry to go, and with very small hope of profiting by the change. However, it must be.

Why should you be in a bother about lodgings in London for a day or two, while No 5 is empty. Shew Anne that bit of Paper,3 if you like, and take free possessn till your own place is deliberately “quite ready.” Jane, I think, will not be at Scotsbrig for about a fortnight; and then for, say a week or 10 days.

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle