The Collected Letters, Volume 11


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 2 August 1839; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18390802-TC-JAC-01; CL 11: 163-164


Templand, 2nd August, 1839—

My dear Brother,

Many thanks for your Letter of this morning; which tells us all you can tell: we hope in a day or two there will be definite news of your home-coming, and a day set when I am to come and meet you! The Courier of this week has never yet come up from Dumfries, I will send it still if it come. The next one, which will contain all the sailing days for August, I will make a point of sending. Your Examiner came duly; I do not get the Exr now since we left London; you can send the next No too if you chance to have it,—not otherwise. The frank to Scotsbrig never arrived;1 nor do I know by any hint what is going on there since Monday gone a week, when our Mother and I left it. I suppose they must have guessed that the frank was from you, and opened it to see what news.

I took down my Mother on Monday last, as I told you: it was a bright beautiful day; our last of that sort. The weather is very moist, very blustery ever since. Today or yesterday, our Mother ought to be at Annan, on her way homewards. She was well, and eager for your return, and mine.

I have endeavoured to be busy here ever since Tuesday morning; but cannot say I get on well in any sense. I awake every morning at some unreasonable hour, 7,5 or even 3; and no breakfast is going till half past 9. I will try it a day or two longer; if with no better issue, I will over to Scotsbrig, taking my desk with me; there at least one can have breakfast a little earlier! It is as of old the chosen region of clatter this; Jane wrote to me she was “nearly dead of clatter.” I am always moderately well in solitude, utterly alone; and oftenest contrive to be that way. You will still have time, I think, for another frank to me here: if I should even be off, the frank can follow me without difficulty.

I daily splash down something on paper about that “working-class” business; but I am not yet got at all into the heart of it, I have not found the back-bone of it at all; and can hardly yet venture to say that I have in any sort got into motion decisively. I must and will persist. There seems no use in living to me, if it be not writing, or preparing to write. My faculties these two years have lain dormant; I feel impatient to get repossession of them.— Write the instant you get any fixed issue. Say whether I may answer under cover to the Duke; Pr[oofsh]eet fr[anks?] are done for the present. Fraser [is printing the]2 American Books (500 “Revolns”);3 pray see how he gets on. Tell Craik, we get his Newspapers, and are always glad of them; oftenest even read them.— Jane is not at all very well; but I think will not go to Annandale with me even if I go so soon. Have you seen Mill, or anybody? Adieu, dear Brother. You will write. Ever your affectionate— T. Carlyle