The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 7 January 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410107-TC-AC-01; CL 13: 8-9


Chelsea, 7th Jany, 1841—

My dear Alick,

Many thanks for your prompt Letter; I shall impatiently expect another tomorrow to hear how it goes with poor Jenny. She ought to take great care of the cold: I will hope, it is nothing else for the present, and that the danger of it for this time may be over. Poor little thing, she is very weak, and of an irritable constitution at any rate.— Our Mother happily is well again;—unless she too get mischief by this job.

I have settled about the Book of Miscellanies; and will today send word to Aitken about having it prepared (a new inscription cunningly put upon it), and sent to Grahame.1 It were of course as well if nothing were said about this till Grahame see it. I have got a new yellow leaf from Fraser;2 and the Bookbinder at Dumfries must do the rest.— I begin now to decide upon actually printing my volume of Lectures:3 the poor Ecclefechan people will stand fair for a copy. It does seem very strange what they can get to read in these things. Fraser offers me £75 in hand for this volume (the munificent man!)— I fancy I had better take it than go out among the gross asses that deal in the Book-trade, and have my soul vexed: it is not for money that I have ever made a good job of writing; and at present, thank Heaven, I do not fail for want of money. Often it strikes me as if I had no need of more money; as if money could really do no more good to me at all: having clothes to wear and a house and food convenient in it, is one not a free man, freer than most Dukes & Kings are?

Jane has not forgotten you; but is sore confined and stagnated by the continuous cold. She has not been out above once these three weeks. She does not cough yet, but always hovers too near it. Our beautiful thaw went off again: Sunday brought a sharp Northwest wind; a hard frost next day; then snows &c; and today we have the streets all glass, a detestable frost-fog which bites you to the bone; and the sun after looking out for an hour, like a great red warmingpan unable to act, has taken his leave! I pray you all put on thick clothing; and especially keep my Mother in from such weather.

Jack is still here; amusing himself largely; his Patient well pleased with London, giving little trouble; and all going well. I meet him every day. Nay here, at this moment are the Patient and he, come hither in a thing they call a Cab (cabriolet, or one horse chaise)!— Adieu till they go.—

Ogilvie the Patient is off into the City; Jack prefers remaining to walk with me. So I must end.

Let me hear good news from you tomorrow, dear Alick; and be a good bairn yourself.

Yours ever affectionately /

T. Carlyle