The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 20 June 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410620-TC-AC-01; CL 13: 152-153


Chelsea, 20 june, 1841—

Dear Alick,

Your Letter came on the evening of Saturday, an hour after all our posts, or I would have written without loss of a moment. Nothing had been fixed here, except the giving up of the Glen House; but things were on the point of being fixed; the long uncertainty had become insupportable to us. Ben Nelson even had never written, I knew not for what reason; and I had set about resolving without any news from him. Tomorrow morning I was to go to Brighton; and failing there, I meant to hold straight towards Wales. We have had an altogether deplorable dubitation about this matter, and are both of us extremely glad to see a prospect of ending it.

If what Jamie says about the rent of Newington1 be correct, that it can be had for “a half less rent” (that is to say for the half of £26), it will be a cheap house indeed, and I will commission him or you to go straightway and secure it for us. Pray set off without delay, and make the bargain with Carruthers.2 I put this Letter in a certain office this night, and you will get it I think on Tuesday morning thereby. Send somebody over with it to Jamie; and let him or you lose no time in acting; and then directly let us know that you have acted.— We shall gather ourselves together in not many days after that, and see old Annandale once again! This house will do much better than the Marquis's,3 where I felt I could never have been at ease. We can make up any kind of gypsey establishment within four walls of our own (for that is quite a different matter) and live there, “free and independent,” in such sort as our means will allow.

But now if the house should not be procurable for £13? That is the question for you!— Well; I can only say I should rather give a pound or two more, than miss it at present: you must endeavour to deal with Carruthers, and do the best you can.

Above all things, do not let us fail for want of writing,—in these penny-post times! Write to us, half a word, the instant anything is fixed with C.,—perhaps on Tuesday itself; at all events on Wednesday: we got your last on Saturday evg about 6 o'clock; you will know what length of time that takes: our other Country post is about 11 in the morning.— I go upon the hypothesis already that you get the house; and will be partly arranging on that basis. Yet still we are not tied (if things unexpectedly grow perverse): we have a habitation here; and all England and Europe to choose upon!

If Nelson's invoice4 were complete, we should rejoice to see it! Perhaps it may come tomorrow morning. [If we] then knew what rooms there are, we [coul]d begin scheming and projecting.

Our dear Mother will rejoice that we have a likelihood of getting near her,—as you all will. Jack is here at this moment (smoking a cigar in the garden): all right. They call on me “for Tea”; there is not a moment's time for more. Do swiftly what you find written here, and then let us hear. Adieu dear Brother.—Ever your affe

T. Carlyle