January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 15 May 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430515-TC-JAC-01; CL 16: 165-167


Chelsea, 15 May, 1843—

My dear Brother,

Your Letter which came on Saturday was very welcome. Your ideas and proceedings as to our Mother and Jenny have my most hearty concurrence; and I cannot but desire very much that Jean may succeed in finding some suitable sort of house at Dumfries: the rest I think might all be managed; in fact, might go on better and better if it were once fairly set agoing.1 It would be a very easy thing to settle all the rest. To me, and no doubt to you also, it would be a real solacement to pay 10 or 15 pounds apiece at stated times in the year, if by so doing we could make our good Mother even a little comfortable! Twenty or thirty pounds a year added to what she already has, would keep her and Jenny very well. The money I think ought be paid to my Mother, and to be hers, that she might continue in form as in fact mistress of the establishment: Jenny I believe might feel that to be the comfortablest way for her; she would then consider herself as working and doing good service for her keep. But I am far too remote from the scene to take any right hold of the minute circumstances, or give any advice that is worth much. Only it does seem, and has always seemed, very desirable to me that Jenny and our Mother should be with one another; and I cannot believe but it is possible to get some rational arrangement contrived for their being so. You will be right well employed in arranging that if you can manage it.

I also very much participate your notion about Alick:2 I am truly glad moreover to hear what you say about his improved mood of mind. Pray Heaven there may be something good arranged on that side also! Our poor Alick; a brave man too,—but drifted far awry by the currents of Life. I never can do other than pray with my whole heart that better days be yet coming for him. It is evident at least that he is right in leaving Ecclefechan.— I have to write a word to him one of these days, for indeed I have some money to pay him.

I did not design writing to you today; but that Letter came by the Post, and I would not send it without a word.— There is a brief Note from Dickens, in very good humour:3 is not that right? Item one from Jeffrey in a “mixture of good and evil, Mother”;4—and finally one from Bunsen, just come, which I have not yet got read.5 These if they seem worthy I will send you directly: I have only got them half read yet.—— Darwin is here waiting to take me up to Town; and the day is altogether muddy.

My blessings and love to my dear Mother, and one and all of them.

Your affecte /

T. Carlyle