January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JWC ; 19 September 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590919-TC-JWC-01; CL 35: 208-209


Scotsbrig, Monday, 19 Septr, 1859

Well, dear Goodykin, I hope you are now safe lodged since Saturday in your still quarters, so full of sad but blessed influences to your poor little heart; and are getting some repose, better than seemed to await at Binnydom or to have been your lot in Edinr. You have a sad parting ahead;—yet none knows that it will be the last there; tho’ indeed, for the sake of her1 principally concerned, one can hardly wish it otherwise! To that stern end come all human things.—So long as you feel that you are getting or doing any good there, stay: I shall be ready to “follow you home in a week” (or indeed to precede you, for Charlotte will manage of course as well as she did at Humbie, however confused the House), whenever I have notice.

I wd have sent the two inclosed missives, whh arrived yesterday, to greet you witht loss of a post, and the truth is I had pen at paper yesterday; but the day was one of steady wet (muddy tho’ no great weight of rain) from morn to eve, and there was no prospect of returning a Letter to Post except by special messenger: so I took to reading again, a confused imprisoned kind of man,—no exercise all day but a ride on dromedary after dinner, protected by mackintosh and at the pace they call flatching. By consummate care abt diet, I did well enough; and have, in the last 3 days, got myself back from a painful way I was in, fruit of excess in sour milk to porridge; a “vitious excess,”2 as whh of them is not? I was really very poorly on Saturday, tho’ aware what it was; by eating nearly nothing (whh was an obedience to Nature withal), and sleeping a little at The Gill before mounting hitherward again, I did a visible feat in the way of cure; and am now abt where I was, abstinent of milk both sweet and sour. Saturday was among the beautifullest days I ever saw; with night to match, tho’ yesterday was so ugly. Your drive along the Braid Hills cd hardly be prettier than mine over Repentance,3 tho’ I hope the interior was more at ease. Jack was with me; went on to Dumfries,—intending, as I afterwds dimly gathered, to be off to Arbuckle's4 for some days, to be out of the way. Poor wandering soul; happily somewhat healthier always than I.—

The Alderley affair does not now look so promising, in spite of Lady Sty's blithe Letter; the Lord Ben5 being absent, who is the only one I find to talk with usually in that circle. Fancy that horrible ghastly Quack-Parson6 waiting one after a heavy day, and Mrs Grote7 for left-wing to him!8— I go to The Gill (as arranged) this afternoon, Tailors all busy there; direct thither, please; and God keep thee, Dearest. T. Carlyle