January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JWC ; 24 June 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590624-TC-JWC-01; CL 35: 119-121


Humbie, Aberdour, Fife Friday, 24 june 1859

No vestige of Letter from you, my poor little Jeannie, neither at Hanover Street1 nor here;—whh is a very great disappointt to me, and might be a root of conjectures, which however I will not indulge in, knowing the Haddington punctuality &c &c. I followed you that wedny night;—and sometimes I started broad awake, in my uneasy crib, at the thought of poor you spinning along thro’ the night. Poor wee soul!—

As for us, we got along successfully altogether, in part beautifully, the weather for one day being altogether superb, and the next too was not to call bad. In short we arrived all safe & well this morning early at Granton; were joined by John, did our passage of the Frith,2 our &c &c with the most perfect success; and fairly got to Humbie about half an hour ago; horse, dog, and two humans (with John for third) all alike delighted to get to port again. The place will do excellently; very neat, very cleanly, solitary; one of the finest-looking old deafish Mrs Thomsons3 you ever saw; rooms clean and airy tho’ none of the largest;—and such a view from the windows as could not be surpassed short of the Bay of Naples, if there.

In short come and see, Dear; so soon as you have rested yourself. And for God's sake don't forget to put Fife after the Aberdour; and to write with punctuality! If I hear nothing tomorrow, what will become of me!

No danger of buck4 noises, I think; or none to speak of. Adieu Dearest.

Ever your affectionate /

T. Carlyle

Nero is sitting at my feet; charmed with the course things have taken; and Fritz the Horse is up to the eyes in clover, now that he find himself got back to Created Nature—not a moment of time more. I write one line for Charlotte to her mother5

P. S. (begins

Charlotte wants:

1o. a Coffee-pot (nothing here but a biggin;6 however she made me in a saucepan the best Coffee I have had for months: egg, milk, cream, water all first-rate);

2o. Two table knives and iron forks (for use of kitchen); Walter's silver forks 4 in number have knives to match, and there is not any “fork” &c for kitchen.— This is all Charlotte's prest “wants” when I put her to it. Of course John or anybody can supply these.—— Item I for my own share decide on 2 breakfast cups & saucers; the tea do are very good & nice; but not quite big enough for breakfast.— Perhaps you can do all this at Haddn (I never thot of that before!), & meet me at the door of your Carriage, ohne weiteres [without more ado], if you attend to the inclosed railway Talisman—if you arrive, namely, a little before 2¾ p.m. at Edinr we should be across at a quarter to 4, and home (for I shd have a cab ready) before five to tea. “That is “the only good train for you, or clearly the best, all “day,”7 says my oracle8 (now dining on fish, & about to fly again).—— Furthermore, if you write tomorrow (Sunday) so as to save the Edinr mail, Edinr transmits next morning at six,—and I get it here9 between 11 & 12; whh will10 enable me to be in time at the door of your Haddington Train.

I am to dine (& then ride), after Jack and his Sequel11 are away.— The Auchtertool people have done all that was civil, including abstinence from a call hitherto. Once more adieu

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Thomas Carlyle to Jane Welsh Carlyle, 24 June 1859 (detail)

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland