The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 18 April 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400418-TC-JAC-01; CL 12: 114-115


Chelsea, Saturday 19th [18] April 1840

My dear Brother,

I may as well write to you half a word, in imitation of your own Letter last but one,—for there is “no chance till Monday” otherwise. I have finished a great quantity of scribbling today already (my daily task); Jane is out to ride, for the first time, with Forster; I can deduct five minutes from my walk, and serve myself and you. I have had various interruptions today; but my task is done.

What you say of speech upon an object disgusting one with writing or working farther on it,1 is eminently true. I feel it to be so. I have fallen upon a kind of plan in consequence. Daily for some week past, I have taken out paper, to be written upon only on one side. I there splash down (literally as fas[t] as my pen will go) some kind of paragraph on some point or other of my “Course” that has b[een] salient and visible to me; paragraph after paragraph, till at least 4 pages daily are full: in this way I put down legibly, if not something that I shall say, yet something that I might and should say. I can clip the paragrap[h]s out, and string them together any way I like. I am independent or nearly so of Reporters. I shall be the better able to speak of the things written of even in this way. It seems the best I can do.

My riding must certainly do me good! It stirs up a great increase of movement in the inner man of me; nothing decisively more as yet. I took a blue pill the night before last. I feel clearer; loquacious,—alas, getting into a fire again, I suppose! There is no help for it— I will do these Lectures; and then hope never to do any more in the world.

No word from Dumfries yet, about your £70 or otherwise,—except indeed the Courier with its usual strokes which went off to you yesterday.

Mrs Anthony Sterling is for Canada in june. She seems to me very poorly; especially in her spiritual health!— A serious-looking accident that to your patient; yet who knows whether it may not in the long-run do good?2— Striking 3 o'clock!

Miscellanies and 2nd editn of Chartism out next week.—