The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 3 March 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410303-TC-JAC-01; CL 13: 49-50


Chelsea, 3 March, 1841—

My dear Brother,

Happily here is a Letter from you this morning; we had begun to fear there was something wrong as you did not write.

Today, thank Heaven, I feel decidedly better; it is the third day I have kept the house,—sitting even with a Rob-Roy shawl pinned round my neck:1 but my sleep is coming back to me; my influenza is giving clear sign of departure. There is in my nostrils, for one thing, a strange smell, what I remember out of very old years as a symptom of the departure of bad colds. I have really had an ugly fit of it this time; perhaps I shall be better than I was now that it is gone.

I spend much of my thought at present in scheming out some possibility of passing this whole season in the country; seeing another summer yet again on the Earth! I make but small progress towards a Practicability as yet: but we shall see. I feel utterly incompetent to undertake any new work of magnitude in Cockneydom at present. Probably the deepest wish of my soul is even that, to get out of Cockneydom forever and a day! Voyons [Let us see].

No Copy of the Lectures or of Sartor has come hither yet. Jane is up in Town today; and undertakes to inquire about it. I have no pleasure in the thing myself; little wish ever to see it.

I know not what you will do with your Lathe.2 Perhaps the shortest way were to come up, and look for yourselves? Or perhaps you do not want to stir?— Darwin was here yesterday: the man he mentioned is the great Toolmaker of the world.3

I am reading Cleaveland and other Cromwellian absurdities. My power of reading, or of any kind of endurance, is none of the greatest at present.

Miss Jewsbury, our fair Pilgrimess, is coming again tomorrow; and then departs for the North.4 She is one of the most interesting young women I have seen for years. Clear delicate sense and courage looking out of her small sylph figure;—a most heroic-looking damsel.

I can write no more at present. / Your always / T. Carlyle

It was a most melancholy mistake that of Jane's, omitting the Ryde!— Helen,5 one day, addressed a thing “10. Blair Street, Scotland.”