January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 7 July 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590707-TC-JCA-01; CL 35: 135


Humby, Thursday Evg 7 july, 1859—

Dear Jean

We were overjoyed to hear of the Cuddy; which promised to be a friend in need, and ready singularly soon. News of him came on Monday: but we have been much surprised since, and for the last 24 hours lost in wonder and conjecture, at the non-appearance either of him or of the least account of him! At length tonight by the evening mail comes a Note dated yesterday at the Caledonian Railway Office, Edinr1 informing us that “1 Donkey” (so they are pleased to style it) “carriage paid to Edinr,” did arrive, they don't say when; that he, with expense “2/8” or something like that, was sent to Granton Pier, also to Leith Pier, and that the Fife Steamers at both places refused to have him, “unless somebody took him in charge”!— By a small exertion I will get somebody to go across for the animal tomorrow; and then the thing will at last be done,—and poor Jane will have something to ride upon at last. You cannot conceive in the least what a business that has been, and how futile hitherto. Unexceptionable side-saddle is here since Saturday; on Monday, after much rhetoric, I got her persuaded to mount my horse, I leading at a walk,—the horse one of the quietest in the world. One hour's riding was accomplished that Monday not unsuccessfully. Same day the lout of a fellow here laid down the Saddle within reach of the Horse's mouth, who thereupon proceeded to eat part of it: despatch to Kirkcaldy (the nearest saddler's) was necessary thereupon, & no-saddle for a day following. Yesterday we tried again; but yesterday poor Jane's terror (for no reason at all) was such that we had to cease abruptly, & I believe the “ride” did her real mischief. If this Cuddy, whh she much longs for, do carry her comfortably, it will be a real blessing after all; and I shall be honourably quit of one of the most provokingly troublesome small functions I have had on hand for long years past! You shall hear again of me in about 2 days, I hope. Yours ever, with thanks many

T. Carlyle