January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 4 September 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560904-TC-JCA-01; CL 31: 216-217


The Gill, Thursday Night late (4 Augt [September], 1856)—

Dear Jean,

My Glasgow plans are all suddenly knocked on the head by an inspection of Murray this morning, and the grand fact he announces (confirmed by a Note I had from Jack,—indeed evident on the sheet your Jim sent me, but never noticed before), that there is no Glasgow-Inverness Steamer on Saturday (said Steamer sailing on the Friday), and there will be none till Monday following! Conceive the sudden upsetting of all my projects; the tumbling of me, in fact, with all my present businesses, heels over head in one moment! I have often had a more agreeable day than this has been to me. However, I am now again settled; off to Scotsbrig tomorrow morning; thence round by Linlathen (Dundee), by Kirkcaldy Auchtertool &c,—and on Tuesday off by the Aberdeen rail (whh with Coaches &c takes one to Inverness at a single big stretch, 12 hours or so), and thus on the Wednesday (I hope I have not mistaken the day of the Coach next!) “the Skye Mail”1 tumbles me out at the place I was bound to. “Probably just as well”: who knows?

I enclose a Cover whh will carry me a Note of yours whenever you have leisure to write one. Do not quite neglect. I am greatly obliged by all your punctual helpfulness to me; yours and James's, whom thank for me as you but can: I have put by the old Tobacco-Box2 for you, it is all wrapped up in Mary's hands— Keep it carefully I request you: there is something sternly sad in that poor old memorial of one we shall see no more with these eyes.— But no more of that.

A dismal suspicion crossed me yesternight on Mousewald Heights,3 that I had cheated James of his 5 / for the stamps! I did faithfully put down the 5 /,—but did I not take it up again, and pocket it among James's return change for the Gig affairs? I hope better things, tho' I thus speak. Nor does the state of my purse point clear to guilt. But I must have James's assurance

Adieu, dear Jean: God's blessing be with you and yours. Always your affectn Brr

T. Carlyle