July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JWC ; 2 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580802-TC-JWC-01; CL 34: 90-91


The Gill, Monday 2 Augt 1858.

Nothing has come today my Dearest, except the poor Peesweep Newspaper;1 and I am in great anxiety to know what passed after the trace of your hand whh I see upon that. I suppose the Sunday night has not answered for the Rowland Hill from Alverstoke hither? I cd hardly expect it; tho' it was possible, and I much wished it,—yet with a fear that the news might not be “good.” Wae's me!2—I went to bed on Saturday night, a most dejected mournful mortal: thinking of your sleeping place (uncertain for any “sleep”) at Alverstoke, mine here; and how our poor Household was all scattered to the winds. The truth is, I was out of sorts,—on the dietetic side: “milk cure,” I find, might deserve a name as well as Water-Cure, for indeed it is very medicinal; therapeutic (i.e. curative) too we will hope;—out of sorts on the dietetic side and others: one has to keep silence, and wait. Next morning (yesterday) was hot to a degree, bright and windless; I, still good for nothing, had intended a ride to Scotsbrig perhaps: no riding possible for the heat; wherefore I took to Orlich (dullest of created writers, but useful to me), and so sat quiet. Dinner a Cup of Hen-soup (nothing more); then Austin,3 earnestly urgent, drove me to Scotsbrig and back: whh has proved a useful kind of exercise; and was without external adventure of any kind. One single glimpse I got of something4 generally at Ecclefechan, whh is grand to me and stern and sad beyond all else in Creation;—beggaring all words whatsoever.

Jamie5 and I are to visit Craigenputtoch, day settled to be Thursdaynext,—I have just written to warn the Farmer6 to be there. This is a poor dusty unwelcome duty; but it is an evidently authentic one; and it can be done witht much martyrdom. Jamie runs over to Annan that morning; passes this way in the train, I joining him at Cummertrees: at Dumfries we take a gig;—are here by the train again at 11 (eleven) p.m.—— Today continues dry; but there has risen a loud dim east wind, & cold enough.— Oh if I but knew that you were doing tolerably! But all seems so questionable there and elsewhere.

Your affectionate T. Carlyle