January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 27 September 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560927-TC-JWC-01; CL 31: 242-243


Kinloch Luichart, 27 Septr / (Saturday morning) 1856—

My dear little Jeannie,—Accept of one word more from me, empty as ever, the last I shall write from this place: I have no need to write at all, everything standing essentially as it [was]1 when you last heard; but I write merely for the sake of writing. It is very cold, I can assure you, up here in my “excellent bedroom,” and the steel pen requires a set of far nimbler fingers than mine at present are. But in a day doomed to utter inanity and the doing of nothing, this little thing may be worth doing to begin with.

I enclose you Mary's Letter: if you have not seen her and Jean, pray take a little pains to do them due visit in passing. I know you will not neglect this little act of kindness to me and them. No ministering spirits could have been readier to serve me in all points, and no sisters could have been more kind, than they two were.— I gave you the choice of Thursday or an earlier day for the Gill; I still hold there; but feel I shall perhaps be very tired on Thursday,—tho' whether a drive might not be, also, a goodish way of resting?: Do as you find pleasantest.

“I have happened a” considerable “misfortune, Ma'am”:2 the day before yesterday, by some accident (for I was doing nothing unusual) I let my watch hustle out of my trowsers; down it came on the hard floor; broke the glass, and I hoped that was all,—but, alas, on examining, tho' nothing seemed wrong to the eye, I found the poor creature dead for the moment, and fixed not to go; so wrapped up into my writingcase, a sorrowful man. The gloom and distress I have felt ever since about that small matter is evidence of the weak morbid state of mind I am in!— Then yesterday morning, running out for heat before breakfast, on roads smooth but slippery and glistening with rain just over, I,—by what bad method or mistake I do not yet understand,—came down flat and clean, like a felled tree, on the public highway; broke one of my finger-joints (the skin only, n.b.!), dirtied my coat (mud mere sand, when it dries), and ran on, heartily ashamed of myself. A bit of diacolon3 is healing the worst consequences of that.

Lord A. is to the “forest”4 this morning for his last stroke at the deer. Lady A has a baddish (and then betterish) cold these 3 days or more, and hardly shews face once in the 24 hours. Our Inverness Attorney is back again yesterday,—really almost something of a resource, tho' an ignorant poor creature. I sleep a great deal; almost every afternoon before dinner: I do not think I am intrinsically in worse health. If Tuesday (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) will be dry, I shall be thankful. Do not forget Mr Dobbie5 in my compts! Adieu Dearest.

T. Carlyle

I got your second Letter, of course;—I had almost forgotten that! Thanks—