July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JWC ; 6 July 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580706-TC-JWC-01; CL 34: 12-14


The Gill, 6 july, 1858—

My poor little Woman! Alas, alas, what can I say to you: it grieves my very heart to hear of that sad sofa-and-fur apparatus, and the terrible misery my poor little Dame has had again from the foolish Brighton adventure. No, truly you are not strong enough for any such exertion;—I often think if it were not her spirit, her unquenchable courage, my poor little Jeannie has no strength left. Oh dear, oh dear! I ought to be able to suggest something for you; but I cannot, I am myself so weak and planless,—used to have all things of that sort suggested to me by her who is now with her back at the wall. God help us. Keep up thy heart at any rate, dear little Being—Oh I cd burst into greeting if that wd serve: but times will mend a little, soon, I hope; nay I try to believe are already mending towards at least the old poor pitch again! Nothing cd be more ingenious than that mode of “getting into the country” on brief & easy terms.1 I figure it a very pretty little shop for you,—altogether according to the Goody genius it surely is. Write me one word from it tomorrow; one word daily till these sad phenomena are off again.

Never mind the Tait Picture any more. Ld A's Note to Tait, accusing you of fault on the other side, is surely clear absolution on this side; if Tait put in yr paragraph with either “null” or an equivalent, there needs nothing more from us. Not to say that it is evident, and was from the beginning: nothing can save the £500;—practical result of all our bothering is nil or “null.” Let Tait go with the sum then; we shall always silently know what his methods in such a case are capable of being; and rejoice that neither £500 nor 5 million ever fell or cd fall to some others by such methods!— Finis to it therefore; you surely are clear of it as spring water; and there is nothing more to be said or done.

Yesterday going out for a weary walk, as my Letter indicated, I strolled along my fair distance between showers; then turned, and nearish to home, a windy shower made me pause, & seek a bush with my umbrella. There I stood for ten minutes and more, “patter patter,” Nith & Criffel2 yielding watery ammunition to unexpected length. A rider coming against the storm appeared dim in the distance; visibly took shelter under trees in a hollow not far behind me; till the shower ended I cd not emerge, or discern—that it was “Taeng-leg”;3 he in person, poor soul, with the big dromedary of a horse for me! I have been upon it (last night), and it is awkwardness's self, but very quiet, well-hoofed, capable of swiftness to a good extent;—and indeed for my purpose the more jolting it gives me the better. It will be highly beneficial I expect.

The Dumfries Herald comes hither (as I said yesterday);4 nothing for America from you. On Sunday we have no post here; by sending to Annan, I might have got a word to you on Monday morning,—and wd, had I known how things were.— Tailor “cannot come till friday, mournings to make”:—well, well. Larkin has written to me; not yet ansd.— I crave one word. God bless thee, Dearest T. Carlyle