July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JWC ; 21 July 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580721-TC-JWC-01; CL 34: 59-60


The Gill, Wedy (21 july) 1858

I expected no Letter today; neither shall you get any: I will merely inclose for you what is come, by way of a sign.— Yesterday continued steadily wet till midnight: I had a Mackintosh ride (“quite delightful,”1 I assure you, in the language of flattery) after dinner; item a ditto walk after tea or supper, 4 miles of unspeakable silence, and no company but the pattering of the heavy but quiet rain. Today the air is warmer,—excellent for all kinds of growing creatures;—and prophets are uncertain whether we are in for “new heat” or for the “Lammas flood.”2 I guess the latter. Charles XII, my last solid Book, except Fredk ones, is done: a tale ill told here, but raising in one innumerable thoughts. Such a man! Would not for the whole world have spoken or done any lie; valiant as son of Adam ever was: strange to see upon a throne in this world;—the grand life blown out of him at last by a Canaille of “Nobility” so-called! I must now take to Örlich & the Silesian War,3—unless Tourgff seduce me into idleness for a day or two. The Newspaper came from John this morning; contains a criticism or eulogy4 some poor young soul trying his ’prentice-hand in that way. “Di' tha naither ill nor guid!”5

My clothes are excellent, I assure you; the making of them especially: they lay like a considerable Hay-coil round me yesternight till Mary put them in some press out of the way.6 Had Goody been able for the cloth, it might have been better for one or two of the articles: but my poor little woman was much better spared such a job, had she even been stronger than she is. I am truly grateful to Larkin for that Bramah busn; it was quite miserable to think of poor you being bothered with it on such terms— Jean talks of coming tonight:—No rest for the wicked!7 Yet I am thankful, as I well ought to be, for one that bears so kind a heart to me, and is so helpful in whatever she can.8 Poor Jean; she has good talk too (were any talk very welcome to me); Jamie9 & she are pretty much the only “conversation” I have had since leaving home. May the poor Head get sleep this night,—alas yes!

T. Carlyle