August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 18 June 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580618-TC-JAC-01; CL 33: 243-245


Chelsea, friday 18 june, 1858

Dear Brother,

My Book is utterly off my hand for some days past; but the getting into my promised condition of “rest” seems to be as laborious as most other parts of the operation were! So many thrums are to be knotted up; so many doubtful points are to be decided,—and in this mood, and state of nerves, in the roasting hot weather, one is so inapt for deciding anything.

So much I gather from your Notes, that Silloth &c will not do at all;1 and that I must renounce the Liverpool method. I have been to the Steam Officers here, to Euston Square itself: but in place of decision new complications have risen. The horse is a considerable element of bother; for (as you will soon see) I hardly know whither to address him as matters have come to stand. At Euston Square, ‘6.15 any morning, and no other time,’ they will push him off for Carlisle (fare £4.2), and land him there (abt 7.30 p.m. if I recollect),—and are ‘certain’ to push him by the very next horse-opportunity towards Annan (or Ecclefn, if that is a horse station, as Cummertrees2 is not):—I wd send him off at once by this method, if my own route could be determined on;—nay perhaps I shall have to do so, determined or not.

But the truth is, Jane's state of weakness & discomfort in this broil of hot confusions is such, we have taken a notion of trying for some quiet house or hut somewhere on the sea-shore; and certain “Dunlops,”3 lately come from the Whitby region in Yorkshire, report of an “excellt small house” to be had in a sea-village there (Lythe the name of it, 4 miles nth of Whitby) at the easy rate of £9 a year! Whh has considerably taken poor Jane's fancy, and even my own. So that at present my belief is, I ought to go northwd that way, and see it (and try to decide upon it) as I pass. After whh, in case of affirmative, Jane wd immediately gather herself, and go off with her little maid4 to furnish (slightly), and take possession till the Sun had fairly ended his year's operations. For 51/ (first class) you are carried to Whitby and brot back,—return ticket (for 6/ more) available till 31 decr next! This is one of the great invitations of the place: it is described to us also as grassy, hilly, romantically beautiful, and deserted by railways;—plenty of milk in it (we hope), and the other naturalia desired by sane mankind. I believe I ought to go and see it. It seems to be about 50 or 40 miles s. of Newcastle, and very accessible from Annandale. In case of our going thither to live5 live,6 I shd not send my horse to Anna[n]dale7 at all; but come across for a week or two, while Jane were getting ready at Lythe, and see my friends in the pedestrian way.

At all events it wd be a deliverance to have my horse off my hands for the time being! I proposed lending him to Farie to ride for a month: poor Farie, I perceive, wd get on fire to be off into the Country at once, had he such a tie on him,—without tie, he will not go for perhaps 2 months yet. So that comes to nothing Nay the horse is not perfectly well (in my opinion); idleness and grass wd perhaps suit him better for a few weeks. He has not yet got his old coat quite off him; he alternates between mad enthusiasm and languid inability; coughs now and then:—in short I think grass and fresh air are the recipe for him; as his absence clearly is for me, during some weeks to come! Last night (after a great deal of haggling business thro' the day) I rode off to Richmond in hope of getting him turned off into a certain Pasture-field I had noticed and liked: but John Welsh,8 who might have been my right-hand in the operation, was not on the ground: so I had to return re infectâ [without doing it].— We are to go to Albury (Henry Drummond's,9 after many refusals) both of us, tomor. tomorrow10 morning; home again Monday do: after whh my labours to cut loose will commence again, and not cease till success. Adieu dear Brother: my affectionate regards to Jamie & household.

Yours ever / T. Carlyle