January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 31 July 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590731-TC-JCA-01; CL 35: 160-161


Humbie, 31 july, 1859—

Dear Jean,

I was sorry to hear, from John on Friday,1 both that you had not yet made out your little week of holiday, and also that you had still some need of it, owing to the ill fit you had lately had. Your project of taking your week in these neighbourhoods was very pretty, and interested and almost affected me; but I do not think it would have turned to a good account. These coasts are full of Edinburgh ramblers, mostly of the snob description; and the ways of them and of the lodgings they frequent wd not have been agreeable to you.2

We leave this place on Friday;3 a confused hampered place, tho’ the people are good, and it has done well enough in the circumstances. I know not what kind of thing our new quarters are to be, nor does Jane; the Auchtertool Lasses4 are sorting up something for us in an old dingy kind of House,5 of whh I once long ago saw the outside;—it cannot but be equal to this, I should say: but whether even there we should have it in our power to offer you a bed, I do not in the least know,—guess only not;—and as to your living “in a Lodging” hereabouts, such as wd be procurable, I could not think of that! Besides you have no idea how feeble and feckless poor Jane is: how little good could be had of her, either in a lodging of your own or in closer contact.

My own idea is, it will suit your health best if you fairly renounce excursion projects, and—go honestly over to The Gill with a week's needlework in your bag, and a pound of good tea &c &c, and there pass your holiday in a silent manner!6 That is my real opinion; but of course I know not the circumstances, and do not presume at all to advise on that head.— For the rest, we are not going to be in a hurry returning to London; and I calculate on spending more than one or perhaps than two weeks in Annandale, after all this Fife affair is over: so that there will still be opportunity of meeting, unless things go much awry.— Poor Jane, as I said, does not improve since the weather grew damp & windy. I on the other hand do reckon myself better.—Pooh, the paper is done, & the daylight too! I will write soon again Ever yours / T. Carlyle

The Cuddy is excellt; and Jane does get a little riding, tho’ swear to mount, in her feckless condition— Thanks always for Cuddy.