The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 16 October 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18411016-TC-JAC-01; CL 13: 281-282


Chelsea, 16 Octr 1841—

My dear Brother,

Here is a Letter from some of your Lady Correspondents, which has just arrived, along with the one from yourself for me. Alick's too came at the same time.

Your plan of subscribing to the Library seems to me altogether a proper one: for £26 paid at once you have good reading for the rest of your days. Or if you choose to do it annually, there is a break left for persons going out of the country; a man going out of the country can discontinue, and begin again.— For the rest, you need not wait till you come up. Employ me, if you like that, and I will subscribe at once, and send you off 15 volumes. A catalogue, I understand, will be out very soon.1 Is there no Book or set of Books I could get for you, straightway, otherwise, and send it?

We have wretched weather for most part; this morning a drop-dropping about my bed was the first sound I heard: water, as yet in small quantity, coming in! Perry's men have been all forenoon on the roof,2 and declare it sound now. Our “Library” is all beautifully fitted up for me, at last: curtains, window-blinds, new carpet;—fit for doing some literary feat in! I sit daily in it, au secret [in secret]: but nothing comes of me yet. Hickson, poor slut, most pathetically requests an “article.” I am not sure but I may give him one, to bring in my hand. Better write anything than not write at all. I must and will write something!—

Gordon went away on Thursday.3 We did not see him after Saturday night. He was dreadfully prosaic, computing the incomes of people &c; but affectionate, wholesome, seemingly happy: Good be with poor Gordon. John Sterling is not coming now. The old Stimabile is off “to Dorsetshire”; I have never yet seen him: he came, the day before setting out; in few minutes, succeeded in quarrelling with Jane too, and flung off, his skin hotter than ever!4 The unfortunate Stimabile. Mrs S. laughs, and says, He is a fool, you know. By a Letter we had from Jeffrey, he seems to have been in a very dangerous fever (at Haylebury, his Son-in-law's), and to be still as weak as possible, tho' recovering.5 John Mill is vigorously getting ready a “Book on Logic”:6 we never see him here. Indeed we see almost nobody here, as yet; we are as quiet as mortals can well be: the far profitablest fashion for some of us. I read every night and try to write every morning. Courage!

Nothing, I think, has yet been decided about poor Fraser's “business”: Nickisson told me it had been offered to him for a sum of money; somebody would take it for a sum; meanwhile my “accounts”7 would be got ready for me soon.— My time is quite done: I have other Letters to write; my trial to write has been again futile. Adieu, dear Jack:

T. Carlyle