The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 30 March 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400330-TC-JAC-01; CL 12: 88-90


Chelsea, 30 March, 1840—

My dear Brother,

Your Letter of Credit for £1001 arrived last night. I am much obliged by your goodwill in that matter; tho' I think we shall not need the Document itself: Jane has some cash in the Savings Bank, which she is to take out for present wants; and then in a couple of months more I may expect to have a new supply from Lecturing. Many thanks to you, all the same! As I am to have, at any rate, tomorrow a non-riding day, I think I shall try to get into the City with your Paper, and send off the produce to Dumfries, where our Mother now happens to be. Or perhaps I may deduct from it the £30 I sent to Mary; then you will have advanced the whole of that milde Spende [kind Gift], and I will be answerable for the half of it in due season. Mary sent me a Letter announcing with due thankfulness the safe arrival of the sum; I despatched her Note as an inclosure in one I was writing to our Mother the other day. Sowing &c appears to be going on at Gill, and all in a fair state of progress there.

Alick wrote to announce that the Tobacco could not get away; owing to want of Permit, and erroneous arrangement as to getting one soon, or as to getting one at all! I am very unfortunate in my nicotian enterprises from Scotland this time. Alick's letter inclosed one from our Mother; which, tho dated some while ago, I will send today. She had since gone to Dumfries, as I said; driven up in the Gig by Hanning. A Letter came from Isabella, written just as they were going off: by the same post, I got a Courier with the “London” written in my Mother's honest old hand. Field-labour was going on well at Scotsbrig too; Isabella more active tho' intrinsically little “better”; the little child still powerless in its leg, but quiet and easy to deal with for the present.

Jane begins to look up a little again, within these two days, since the fierce wind abated. I have ridden diligently for three weeks now; as yet with small or no perceptible benefit. I have resolutely refused all dinings whatsoever (d'Orsay, Sir James Clark &c), and have led the stillest life: but neither does this seem to stead. I pass my days under the abominablest pressure of physical misery,—a man forbid!2 I mean to ride diligently for three complete months; try faithfully whether in that way my insupportable burden and imprisonment cannot be alleviated into at least the old degree of endurability; and failing that,—I shall pray God to aid me in the requisite decisive measures; for positively my life is black and hateful to me, spent as I am forced to spend it here; I once for all must not and will not continue so. Enough of this;—considerably more than enough!

I have settled with Fraser; he mostly demonstrated to me that it was all according to the “rules of the trade,” in some small points he gave in; was, in every way, fearful to offend,—poor devil! The printing too will be done in a week. My Lecture-project hardly advances into clearness; stands waiting for a “glimpse of health,” which, alas, refuses to arrive. I have serious thoughts of writing them down; then flaming about, over both hemispheres with them (too like a Cagliostroccio!),3 to earn as much as will buy the smallest peculium of annuity whereon to retire into some hut by the sea-shore,—and there lie quiet till my hour come! We shall see.

Your Letters are decidedly very brief! We know only that your money-wages are the best imaginable. God guide you always! Your affectionate Brother

T. Carlyle