July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JWC ; 9 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580809-TC-JWC-01; CL 34: 108-110


The Gill, 9 Augt (Monday 2 p.m.) 1858—

Thank Heaven for such news; Oh my poor little woman, what a relief and comfort to me! Rowland the Charlatan has kept it at Annan since Saturday night; but here it is this morning, all the welcomer when it comes.

Never mind Cheyne Row, or me; never mind “expense,” at any rate: no amount of “expense” but will be cheap to me if it can do my poor Jeannie the least good. What a pity we had not tried you with the country months ago; you might have been in far better ease, by this time, than by haggling on with the miseries of broiling and tumultuous London. Landhall is clearly the best for you: I, if I go to Germany at all, must be off thither before you end Bay House: but that only leaves you more at liberty: according as you report, I could make thither, or direct for Chelsea, after accomplishing my little German feat. The Yes or the No of that must be decided now in a day or two: after sight of Lord Ashburton (this night, as you will see!) I shall have the whole of the facts before me. Then must a decision come. I am to be off to Dumfries to meet that erratic Peer of the Realm in about ¾ of an hour hence; and have my dinner to eat withal!—

John is on the road to London today; express Train scouring along; will meet Lord An about Preston perhaps! He undertakes to get my Passport visé-ed at London; puts one of his “poor Boys” into Woolwich Seminary;1 then lounges about he knows not well how, waiting for another of them “from India”2 or I know not whence. He was here yesterday with Jamie taking leave; a dreary kind of day for me in the furious heat.

Tomorrow, if there be time after parting with Lord An, I will write you a word from Dumfries. Pray Heaven there be a word of news from you when I get home hither, at 11 the same night! It wd have been more comfortable to the natural man to have lain and slept here without stirring? I have been in the sea, an hour ago (for the first time), a very nice bathe; but it has made me sleepy, indisposed for locomotion altogether. The Adamsons3 announce that they may have found me a Craigenputtoch woodman;4 that &c &c: in short, it is better I go. Off therefore,—tho' the heat is again excessive.

A terrible affair befel in this neighbourhood on Friday last; just after my last Letter went away. The Marquis of Queensberry, a flourishing man in the flower of his age, but much haunted by the demons it wd seem, went out into his Park5 with a gun in his hand, 4–5 p.m.; and was brot home, about 5, shot thro' the heart,—all silently surmise, by his own hand!6 He was ill with his Wife in late time (she is a Saint &c, and I think a fool),7 he had met with various snubs, political & social, some say extensive losses in gambling or racing; Mary says He8 was a good-hearted kind man, but she has seen him “slap his thigh as if talking to himself” (too imaginative, likely): in short there he is, poor young soul (not 40 yet);—and I cannot get him out of my head at all. He had just returned from a visit to London; his Wife was absent at Moffat:9 what a salutation for her, arriving an hour after the event!— God have pity on us all.

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle