January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JAMES CARLYLE ; 29 July 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420729-TC-JC-01; CL 14: 244-245


Chelsea, 29 july, 1842—

Dear Jamie,

I have owed you a little Note in return for yours, these two weeks or more; and now I will pay it before setting out on my travels today. Perhaps you did not open the last Letter that came from me for my Mother; in that case it is longer than usual since you heard news of us.

Our news indeed are not very considerable; nothing properly new. I continue very quiet; and, tho' shewing nothing as yet above ground, perhaps not altogether idle. I say sometimes, all good work has a considerable portion of it sunk, known only to the worker! It is [ ]-count, be it [ ] time it is none of the [ ] this sunk stage: one grows [ ]-thing shews itself above ground, that all goes down as into a bottomless quagmire; one thinks sometimes that nothing ever will come of it! I have fears of that kind now and then; but, on the whole, must plunge along.——— Poor Jane continues still very weakly; very disconsolate for the loss of her Mother. Yet she is recovering slowly. Mrs Buller has bargained to have her out, in a week or two, into their place in Suffolk (North-east from this about 70 miles); Jane has consented to go; and this, I think, will do her some good. The little Cousin from Liverpool, who is a very cheerful quiet good little damsel, is still here; but I suppose may be for homewards when Jane goes off,—tho' I know not that either, for she seems to like this much better than Liverpool. Jack comes always down on Sundays; sometimes, for [ ]age, som [ ]avours to fash him [ ] possible.

[ ] Jean I learn that our Mother and she have got into some sea-quarters about Arbigland: I begin to fear the weather will be too cold. Here our Summer season seems decidedly on the wane; our greatest heat past: on Wednesday night and yesterday (Thursday) morning, we had a terrible explosion of thunder and rain, followed by bright sunshine which was very beautiful; but today there is dim loud N.W. wind, and decidedly cold temperature. I think it plainly impossible that the Harvest in this end of the Island can be good: indeed I hear now, in spite of all the bragging about it, “That the crop is good in quality, but too thin on the ground!” It is a frightful prospect of a winter for millions of men. No day would it surprise one to hear that they had lost patience, and begun rioting and reaving,—begun secret fire-raising at least, which I suppose is the likeliest thing. Some say your Scotch harvest is better than ours comparatively; I sincerely [ ]-ticular. In[ ] we are hardly yet [ ] Dumfries I see they are [ ] season there. Farmers and all people [ ]-ficulties; but yet I rather calculate you at Scotsbrig have a lighter cast of it than many: at all events, I always calculate on James of Scotsbrig's with cheerful resolution and an energetic silence, which I honour greatly in him! It lightens his burden much, at least steadies his back for bearing it; the like is worthy of honour in all men.

Dear Jamie, I wish you would take pen again, and tell me minutely all your buyings and sellings, your outlooks and doings,—in short give me a picture of Scotsbrig. Poor Isabella I fear is still weakly: has she ever yet tried the Shower-bath? I splash myself daily the first thing I do after rising. I feel convinced it would do her good.——— I wrote to Jenny the other day about 3 new flannel shirts I want; of which Alick, I hope, will have good means of supplying the material. She will write or apply to him I suppose.— Adieu dear Jamie. My brotherly love and wishes to one and all of you. Yours ever, T. Carlyle

The Corn-Law Circular1 goe[s] [ ] have go into the [ ] Canada; th[ ] too often [ ]