candlestick

July-December 1858


The Collected Letters, Volume 34


-----

TC TO JWC ; 28 July 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580728-TC-JWC-01; CL 34: 76-80


TC TO JWC

The Gill, 28 july, 1858—

The little Letter was confidently expected this morng; and it was very welcome; tho' small, it has left me cheerfuller than some big ones. No Bramah botheration this time, only sweeps and pacific noises; and it seems to my imagination, tho' you never will tell me anything express on that head, as if you had got back a little sleep again, as if perhaps the cough were abating? Alas, that is but a fancy either; and I have to build my day's satisfaction on very slight foundations.

Yesterday morning I had made a confused sleep of it,—sleep divided into 3 (or 2½), and the last an hour too long;—I concluded to execute, that day, a purpose I had been vaguely forming, to go without dinner. Long ride, say to Scotsbrig; tea and caudled egg there, with certain Books from John: that wd be the method. Austin hearing of the thing, and finding the day bad for hay, proposed zealously the gig instead of riding, “Mary to go too,” &c &c: and for a quiet life, I yielded. The gig did very well,—I got on behind for most part (gig is of dog-cart build), kept the carriage steadier there, and was dispensed with in the way of talk (a very great convenience to me, and unluckily not common in such cases);—tea and egg did very well; everything did well enough; and today I am plus all my lent Books (Tourgff vol II1 for one, whh I shall be ready to send you soon); and have brought a “Continental Bradshaw”2 to boot, if I could look into it without a shudder!— — Isabella3 was in the act of writing to you, she said: no doubt her Note will arrive along with this, tho' perhaps it will not tell you much. I am glad to hear of Landhall:4 it wd have been a kind of burble there otherwise. If you could stay in this Country, I find there is no want of possibility: Cressfield House near Ecclefechan, for example, is to be had furnished (and I think even a brougham with it), on extraordinarily equal terms!5 And I had even thots of building (as a permanent Country House for us) some Cottage, on fewed ground6 (a la Macdiarmid)7 among the romantic sea-cliffs of Colvend8 or elsewhere:—you have only to get a little stronger, you see! I am very anxious indeed to hear what Bay House does: if you can keep yourself unflurried (but what a task is that, when a day of Larkin sets you all in flame!) I promise myself marked results. So far as locality goes there is no better coast in all the Island.

The Yacht to Trieste will make a terrible circumbendibus for me! Near Prag is the first place I shd care for on that side: and, round by Vienna, from Trieste, thitherabout, must be some 500 miles. To “see” merely for seeing's sake, has long been a lost capability with me. On the whole, however, I must seriously take up this German thing: I have, you observe, brot my Continental Bradshaw; nay I have nailed up on the wall, with 4 tacks, a railway map of Germany: this is one actual first step, a very small and not an irrevocable one! For a second step, let Goody do this for me: Seek out the old Passport,9 and send it hither? It lies in the Desk in my Bedroom; I think in the little drawer next the fireplace, but in the top part of that desk it surely is: look a little, after all, the first good leisure you have.—


View larger version:
[in this window]
[in a new window]

Thomas Carlyle's 1852 passport

Courtesy of Carlyle's House, owned by The National Trust

 



View larger version:
[in this window]
[in a new window]

Entry stamps on reverse of Thomas Carlyle's passport

Courtesy of Carlyle's House, owned by The National Trust

 

For the rest, there is one day (not yet appointed) due to Craigenputtoch; Jamie to accompany me,—the place, it seems, is dying for want of “liming,” “draining” &c.10—Adieu, dear little soul, I must not begin another sheet.

Yours

T. C.