The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 16 October 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18401016-TC-JAC-01; CL 12: 288-289


Chelsea, friday [16 October 1840].

Dear Brother,

This Letter has just arrived, and goes off without any delay. I have a Note from Jean too, but it is mostly about straw bonnets: perhaps I may as well inclose it.1

We are in considerable confusion of household; Jane with a tendency to “cramp in the stomach,” produced by want of sleep, by fret and fry; our unfortunate Tick2 appointed to depart on Monday, a foolish stalking Kirkaldy joiner encumbering the house, whom I have to restrain myself from flinging out head foremost; a dinner to be transacted at the Wilsons',3 &c, &c, &c. Silence is the one recipe to be observed. Matters will find their level again.

I do get some reading transacted; about a fourth of what I used to do at Puttoch in the same space. One must persist, in silence; struggle forward in silence. This is the place I am tied to live in, and either to do something in or to do nothing in—En avant [Forward]!

Your affectionate Brother

T. Carlyle