The Collected Letters, Volume 4


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE; 3 June 1827; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18270603-TC-AC-01; CL 4:226.


Comely Bank: June 3 [1827].

It gave us real pleasure to find that you had in very deed made a settlement in your new abode, and were actually boiling your pot at the Craig o' Putto under circumstances however unpropitious. Your tears for parting (from Scotsbrig) will scarcely be dried yet, but in a little while you will look upon this movement in its real light, not as a parting, but as a truly blessed reunion for us all, where, I hope and believe, many good days are in store for every one of us. It will not be long till you have scrubbed up the old Craig, put in the broken slates, and burnt or buried the rotten rags of the late housewife, who, I am told, is indeed a slattern, and not only so, but a drunkard, which is far worse. Mary's nimble fingers and an orderly head will have introduced new arrangements into the mansion; things will begin to go their usual course, and the mavis and tomtit will no longer sing to sad hearts. Poor Mary! Be good to her in this her first removal from home, and remember that you are not only a brother to her, but, as it were, a husband and father.

As to the house, I think with you it were better if we all saw it before the plans were settled. Jane and I are both for coming down shortly. We shall not be long in seeing you. The only thing that absolutely detains me is a little article1 which I have to write before the end of this month for the ‘Edinburgh Review’—a very brief one—which I begin to-morrow.