The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 26 December 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18401226-TC-JAC-01; CL 12: 374-376


Chelsea, Saturday, [26 December 1840]—

My dear Brother,

We have had several little flying notices from you; the last a Dumfries Newspaper yesterday, which I readdressed, and forwarded to Glen. I had seen the Article on E. Irving1 before; it is seemingly by the same hand that reviewed me there (one Gilfillan?) a your [sic: young?] Burgher Minister of Dundee. Aird himself sent the Paper to us: Jane has cut out the article; which is, for the present, in the hands of Mrs Hamilton and Mrs Irving;2 to be returned hither. Archibald Glen's Letter was also forwarded; I adding a few lines to yours, in confirmation of them. To take Glen from Carstammon, where he is comfortable and at home, has always seemed to me, a very questionable project. The poor fellow is evidently not a whit better; plunging and weltering amid bottomless confusions as before. The chances, alas, are greatly against his ever recovering.

Jane forced her way up to Charing Cross, and got her money,3 about a week ago: she has not any other occasion whatsoever stirred out since the frost began. Today and yesterday, it is considerably more venomous; one of our detestable frozen fogs, which pierce you into the bone. Jane has been daily at the making of breakfast hitherto; yesterday she complained of an incipient cold however; and today, tho' she called herself a little better, I would not let her come. I hope she will not break down yet: it is a great aggravation for the whole business of existing here, as well as a distress for herself. She is evidently much stronger this year; but really we have a temperature today, which a Cossack might sink under.

I get on as badly as need be with my studies; cannot begin to write, yet get next to no good of reading, &c &c. I retired into the back room some days ago; but shall be forced to retreat into the old one, this is so villainously cold, draughts in every corner of it.

Yesterday Mill came to me to walk; the first time almost for a year. He has few holidays, every Sunday he is engaged,—I suppose with his old Platonica;4 a rather dreary service now! We talked a great deal, not unreasonably; till poor Mill, who had come out unwrapt, grew almost frozen with cold, and we had to hurry home. This week I have been at three parties, or quasi-parties,—curiously inviegled; Sir R. H. Inglis's with the Wedgwoods, Mrs Austin's, and on a night before, a quiet mutton-chop with Darwin! Pickwick was at Inglis's, and a host of dull black people, clerical and legal: dull as ditch water. Dull parties do one almost no ill—or good.

I must out my dear Brother; it is verging towards three!— Some visitor is up stairs; I shall take good care not to ascertain who.

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle

I wrote a Note to my Mother yesterday; I proposed to send a Book to the Ecclefechan Library, Alick was to write about it, and has not yet done so,—which is very oblivious, very inconvenient.