The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JAMES CARLYLE ; 15 October 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18411015-TC-JC-01; CL 13: 280-281


Chelsea, 15 Octr, 1841— (Friday)

Dear Jamie,

In writing to my Mother the other day, I forgot, what was an essential part of my message, to make mention of our situation as to meal and butter!1 I must now send you a separate word about it.

Our meal, which is found to make very respectable porridge when well boiled, will hold out, it seems, some fourteen or fifteen days from this date. Pickford's Canal conveyance never yet was known to take less than about 9 days from Liverpool. You see therefore there is no time to be lost! However we will not have you overhaste yourself, or us; we will wait rather for another week than have meal that the Miller of Satur and you do not entirely approve of. The quantity we had last time, which perhaps you remember better than I, was the right quantity. So of the Butter: it was all right last year; Isabella has only to do the same over again, and everything will suit.

If Alick could conveniently get the four pounds of that Tobacco from Ewart's Carlisle man (I forget the name of him,—Alison? or what?),2 it would be of service here; it could come, not too tightly wrapt up, yet sufficiently covered from the meal; and in the cold weather it would not be apt to spoil. I have ordered three pounds from the Tobacconist here; but it is very inferior. If Alick ever saw the Carlisle man, he could perhaps make some arrangement with him as to sending me, at any time, direct thro' Newcastle a four-pound packet: if it could arrive here at the rate of 4 shillings a lb., and be as good as Ewart sells it, I should find it generally an accommodation worth the trouble to me.——— But Alick need not enter upon all that, nor indeed trouble himself with the Weed at all, unless the business happen to be convenient at present; we would not have the meal delayed a day on account of it. This is all.

We do not hear a word of your practical history in these weeks; nothing authentic even about the weather can I glean anywhere; M'Diarmid whom I consult weekly is as vague as the wind. I can only consider that in all probability you have an “awfu' struggle,” as poor old Cowthwaite3 used to have, and that with your old patient energy you are working thro' it, better or worse. A written word on the subject by and by will be very welcome.

Neither do I hear whether Jenny has yet gone to the Gill: I hope the rooms are dried a little there now;—and also that all persons will take care of choking themselves, if the charcoal still go on!———— We are struggling along here, in fair health; I still very stupid, unable handsomely to get to any work. I must and will prosper, by and by. My Mother ought not to venture out in these damp raw-frosty evenings Make my compliments to little Tom, and upwards from him to the whole house. Good be ever with you all!

Your affecte Brother—

T. Carlyle