July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


JWC TO TC ; 9 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580809-JWC-TC-01; CL 34: 110-113


Bay House / Monday [9 August 1858]

How curious if Lord A be at this moment on the road to Dumfries! Miss Baring started an hour ago in full assurance of finding him waiting to go with her tomorrow. Not one word has been received from him since they parted in London, on the understanding they were to go north together on the 10th! And I thought it best to say nothing of your news that he was to be at Dumfries on the 9th! She might have felt mortified at the new arrangement being communicated thro only me, and nervous about what would await her in London. Rousse no doubt will smooth all down! But what an odd man Lord A is! I hope it will come off all right the meeting at Dumfries; and that it will enliven you for some days. Perhaps he will persuade you to go to Loch Luichart? Miss Baring is most anxious you should come! By the way, please to send the remaining volume of Tourgenef1 to her She has taken the others, & fears there will be great dearth of literature in the Highlands.

I felt quite sorry to see her drive off this morning. She has really been most kind to me, and took leave of me quite affectionately. “Now that I had found my way to them; she hoped I would never be so hard to persuade here again?” We are now reduced to three; but Bingham Mildmay2 is expected. When he comes; we are to go to inspect “The Camp”3—and go again to “the Island”4 The Camp astonished me the first time I went to walk on the shore! a field about a quarter of a mile off, all covered over with snow-white cones! I thought for a moment it was the grandest encampment of—gipsies! But there are some two thousand soldiers in these tents. Near it, there is a most beautiful new Fort abuilding5—the Guns of which, if they ever come into action, will smash right thro Bay House!

On Saturday we left for the Island at eleven and did not return till six. Emily Mrs Mildmay and I. At Ride6 we got an open Fly and drove to a place up the shore called Spring Vale,7 where Sir Henry Mildmay and his wife8 and rose buds were rusticating. Very human, pleasant people—he, I believe, Son of the Scamp who ran off with Lady Rosebury9 and left her to starve. They had been warned of our coming, and had dinner (no 1) waiting for us. Then we drove to a place called St Clair10—the Property and Work of Art of Colonel Harcourt and Lady Catherine11—(Uncle of William Harcourt)12 There too Mrs Mildmay introduced me with graceful emphasis and I was very courteously treated and shown about. A Lady said I “had forgotten her,” that she was the Mrs Malcom13 who dined with us at Lady Sandwichs she is sister to Colonel Harcourt. The sea being smooth as glass that day, I wasn't in the least sick, and the whole affair passed off to the general satisfaction Mrs Mildmay is going to take us to Osborne14 to call for Lady Caroline Barrington15 the Governess to “the Royal Children”—and on to Cowes16 to call for somebody else. In fact she is the most good-natured of women Mrs Mildmay, besides being excessively amusing in herself. She is not the widow of Mr Morrit, Sir Walters friend, but of his nephew and the heir to Rokeby.17 One is so apt to lose a generation nowadays!

Did I tell you that Croker's House18 is now a royal residence has been given to little Prince Alfred who is learning to be a sailor.19 I saw him this morning shaking hands with two of his Tutors and jumping into his little boat with the third—a slight, graceful little boy— The queen came over and breakfasted with him one morning and another time took tea with him. He keeps a little red flag flying when at home! which adds “a glorious bit of colour” to the scene20

Your description of Craig o putta made me feel choked— I know what that wood must be grown to! close on the house, forming a great dark sheering-look21 before the windows— I always thought the laying out of that planting detestable—and if I were living there I would set fire to it—

This paper is very thick so I will take off half a sheet to make room for poor little Charlottes unexpected letter—worth reading22

Yours ever

Jane W. Carlyle

my last news of John23 seems to be about the same date as yours from Ann. His Mother was better pleased with his last letter from Oban than any she had had You are very kind about him my Aunts I suppose will confine themselves to advising.