January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 21 June 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590621-TC-JAC-01; CL 35: 116-119


Chelsea, 21 june, 1859—

My dear Brother,

We are all in a tumble of packing here; carpets up, goods and chattels flying wildly about; everybody doing his best to get thro’ the most disagreeable of businesses. I have seldom had such a day as yesterday was to me: but, in fine, the thing was necessary; and I trust it may be salutary more or less,—nay already, in my own case, it almost seems as if the very agony of packing were a part of the medicine needed, and as if tho’ in desperately painful circumstances the cure had begun! The torpid stagnation and stupidity and dreary murk, in which I have sat for long months, useless and wretched,1 has evidently been tumbled into at least active chaos by these miserable operations.— In fine we hope to be all on board the Princess Royal, Horse, maid & man,2 taliter qualiter [one way or another] tomorrow at 10; 8 and 40 hours, miscellaneously more or less miserable, will, if we prosper, bring us to Granton Pier; and then novus incipit ordo [a new arrangement begins]!3— We will come ashore to the “Granton Pier Hotel”4 (and be on the outlook, have our names with the waiter &c, if you are not already come.

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“Granton Harbour and Pier”
James Grant, Cassell's Old and New Edinburgh (1883)

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland


North wind has risen over night; whh is likely to render our voyage cool, and also to retard it by some hours? There will be no use sending word to Humby farther abt cart to meet us, or the like: perhaps a cab (since there are such at Burntisland) will carry all the luggage, and all of us that “need” to be carried. I think it is only some 2 or 3 miles. I think Jane did not write in answer to this Letter of Walter's: clearly there is no need for Maggy to be in waiting;5—her report lately was that “sheets wd be needed”; in whh case she offered to furnish them; whh offer Jane accepted. If Maggy is wrong (as I hope she is) in that particular, we have no need of any help that day.

Poor Jane does not prosper in the packing, health-wise, as I do: a very bad night last, to her; may this be a better! She decides, by consent of her Dr, and I think, wisely, to go by the night express train, Wedny night; and to do it all at one stroke: if all be well she will be in Haddington when (no, the morrow after!) you read this! I will tell her to address a Note for me to yr lodging,6 and hope you will have it with you! (“Humby” itself might be the best way?) Adieu, dear Brother: God grant us a speedy meeting!— Yours ever T. Carlyle

I had all the three packages of Maurits Tobacco in my trunk; but have put out the one you already tasted; and bring only the two untried yet; whh I design shall be your share.7