The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 21 April 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400421-TC-AC-01; CL 12: 115-116


Chelsea, Tuesday 21 April 1840

My dear Alick,

Why not send you one of my Prospectuses, and word that we are well,—even tho' I can do nothing more? These four days I have meant to do it; but I am busy every minute of my morning till 2 o'clock when the horse comes; and then after dinner I am so sluggish, worn out, unable to do anything. Take this, in good part! You perhaps even do not hear of Jack, for our Mother I suppose is still at Dumfries. I send two Letters of his,—as short as Letters can be. No I exclude one of the letters too weighty; meaning “all well” (patient recovered again from fall).1

My own task at present consists in writing as fast as my pen will go, all day from breakfast (about 8 or 9) till 2 o'clock. I write down what I might say in my Lectures; it will assist me in what I shall get to say; for all seem agreed that I must speak my Discourses, that reading will entirely ruin the charm and meaning of them. So I clash [dash] away and write; “lick for lash thro' the Rickergate”!2 Perhaps we may print some of them by and by! In a month I shall have done with the thing any way; and I hope very much (and indeed almost resolve) I may never meddle with it again.

Jane is quite well again; the weather is sunny and good,—terribly dry; but clouds are gathering this day, and we hope.— I have sent for pipes from Edinr; I expect them this week. The tobacco continues tolerable here; if the wretched Exciseman will not act, do not disturb yourself much: poor dud, I suppose it is a kind of pleasure to him perhaps that he can stand in anybody's way; act upon anybody even in that poor style.— Good luck to you, dear Brother, and good b'ye! Send my news to Scotsbrig; say there was seldom man so busy. I bid good be with you one and all;—shall have more time soon. Yours ever

T. Carlyle