January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO JAMES CARLYLE ; 6 January 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430106-TC-JC-01; CL 16: 7


Chelsea, 6 jany, 1843—

Dear Jamie,

You find here inclosed a Document, which you have to carry over to Postie at Ecclefechan and sign; whereupon Postie will hand you two sovereigns for it. You are to give one of these to Isabella, and the other to Jenny who is now up stairs with my Mother; and say that they are New-Year's Gifts from me, with many brotherly salutations and “good wishes for the season,” to both the one and the other. Having done this, your commission for the present is ended; and I will thank you beforehand.— Solely farther, if you have an old Newspaper, you may direct it hither in token that the thing came safe; and in that case you can ask of Alick too whether his two things were safe; and I will take the Newspaper as a sign in the affirmative from him too. I have little doubt but all goes safe that one hands in that way: but an express word or sign to that effect is also satisfactory. You are all terribly sweer [reluctant] to write; therefore I suggest a Newspaper as handier; not by any means as equally good.

But, in truth, my dear Brother, I consider that you might easily do worse than actually set about learning to write freely, and have more than once counselled. Suppose, you went up stairs, to the end-room, some day, with a fire lighted (which will dissipate the damp too), and all your men fairly at work out of doors; and then, taking a good roomy sheet of paper, honestly set yourself to fill it for me! It would be productive of several good effects, and no evil one at all! You have only to commit yourself heartily to the business, and try. Your rugged Annandale sense and uptake is altogether right for us; good and sound: you have only to learn writing it down. Mind the periods and points; the spelling; the dividing at the end of the line by syllables &c;—above all to try, and persevere!— —

My news are all in the bit of Paper which I write to my Mother; which she will communicate to you. I am very busy; have many interruptions which I cannot stave off. My blessings with you dear honest Brother, and farewell!

T. Carlyle