January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 20 July 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590720-TC-JAC-01; CL 35: 153-154


Humbie, Wedy night 20 july, 1859—

Dear Brother,—Your Letter did not come till this morning; such is the regularity of Rowland in these remote parts. I suppose I must have one of those Capes;1 but it will be the safest course to come personally over, and fit it myself. I want new pairs of shoes, I want various things,—money one of them;—lazy as I am, I shall have to get on board some morning soon. Meanwhile, you, I hope, will come over again Friday or Saturday: that is always the easiest plan for my loitering self!—

This morning came a Letter from Scotsbrig, inviting us (or rather me, I guess?) to come thither for a week, after our Humbie term was out: young Jamie2 was the writer; no other news; all going on fairly except that rain was still wanted. The Letter is in the other room somewhere; I might have sought it, as the shorter method at present.— Of course I mean to see Scotsbrig &c before leaving the Country, and to spend several weeks in Annandale. But things are in a kind of undeveloped state, as to our motions: and indeed this is one of the tasks I am going again to impose on your good nature,—to help us in that matter. We end here, as you know, Augt 5th: Erskine, whom I rather wish to see, indicates that “after the 10th of Augt, any day,” is the time:3 so that a question arises, Could not we be permitted to stay here an additional week? Mrs Thomson had told the Misses Welsh, she was of opinion Professor Struthers4 (who had in some sort mistaken her meaning, owing to her deafness or somehow, in regard to her final engaging with him) wd possibly or probably consent to give us a week's delay: but she says today, when applied to, You know the Professor, and wd be far the best man to make the proposal to him. Could you conveniently? Of course it is not a weighty matter even to us; and unless the “week” were almost a matter of indifference to the Professor, we cd not ask him to allow it us. If indeed he cd give up his Humbie Bargain altogether, and leave us to work out our full problem here, it would be worth while to make that a request, for that wd be a real saving of bother to us, and a favour to be acknowledged! But of that, I guess, there is not the least chance. Meanwhile, if you can state the “week” project to him, and find his real posture towards it, please do so, the sooner the better:—but if you dislike the job, tell me so, and I will write to him. That will be quite the same or nearly so. Only (as I now perceive!) no time is to be lost.

I also want £25, notes 15, and 10 sovereigns. Can you bring these over from yr Edinr Banker, and I will give you a draught in return?5 Or if you cannot handily, I will ride to Kirkcaldy, and manage the thing. Ohe jam satis [Enough of this]!

We found the wet rather troublesome, two days of it together, and everything so muddy. The second day I made an illustrious gallop in “the Park”; Jane herself got out on the Cuddie today, and prosperously rode to Burntisland: a nice grey day,—tho’ there has come a “Haar” in the Evg; in whh I made my ride romantic (Burnisland6 Mountains7 & rearward country there) by totally losing my road! The fog was very terrible to quadruped Fritz; but I had much enjoyt of the adventure.— Come if you can! Yours

T. C.