January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 18 April 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450418-TC-AC-01; CL 19: 56-58


Chelsea, 18 April 1845—

My dear Brother,

The Mail Steamer is going towards you today: and tho' seldom in my life in greater haste than even now, I must write you a small word acknowledgement for your welcome Letter of News,1 which arrived last week. I sent it on towards Annandale, directly after Jack had seen it; and there too, no doubt, it would create thankfulness and joy.

We are very well pleased with your accounts of yourself; of John's daughter's marriage, and your tea party, and the good wife's determination to have new chairs (which was very proper in her!),2 and of all your marketings and cares and industries in that new home. There was one Letter about ‘the Street’ to Brantford, and all your neighbours, which was very entertaining. I have got a map of Canada; found out your place, and can now in some measure figure various elements of your position. Perhaps I shall see the place one day! Who knows? They are always asking me to come across: and now I have a real motive, if opportunity do ever serve!— Go on and prosper, my dear Brother. You cannot overrate the satisfaction it gives me to hear of your well-doing. If it please God, you shall now reap the fruit of many bitter trials you have had in this world: it is the use of suffering to us, which we are all born to, here below.— Markets seem but indifferent; much, I can readily believe, is very cross and perverse: but a man that can till his Mother Earth, and has a piece of Earth to till;—it is a great fact for a man at present. Courage! All grows smoother, more obedient to us, just as we expend our wisdom and valour and worth upon it. All things do. Your good health is an immense point; which let us all be thankful for; which do you yourself take every care of, and prize as it merits.

From Annandale the news, I rejoice to say, are good. Our brave old Mother seems to have stood the winter well, and the Spring, which latter has been one of the hardest ever seen. Today even it is cold as December all but the Sun;—a poisonous east wind blowing. Jamie seems busy draining &c: Isabella is very poorly still. Mary complains a little; but Jack thinks her getting better. Perhaps you notice in the Courier that Puttock is again to let. M'Adam demands some £20 (if I remember) of abatement. I got Stewart of Gillenbie to take charge of letting the place; told him what M'Adam was;—desired that he would do what was fit[t]est,3 and not to speak to me of it, in my present terrible hurry! He undertakes; and I have no thought about the matter. Plenty else to think about!

In fact I have Printers clanking away at my heels; and such a confusion going about me and within me as no other man. It is the ugliest job in reality I ever had. But it is getting on; a fourth part of it printed: far more than half done: I shall rejoice to be rid of it for one! Nothing but my love for Oliver could carry me thro' such an ocean of confusions; money could not hire any man to it. I send you a leaf or two of Proof papers. In some three months more I shall see daylight thro' it, I hope: one of my anticipated pleasures then is packing up a Copy of it with other bits of things for a certain Farmhouse in the Brantford region! I wish we were but at that!—

I think sometimes really of getting a horse as you advise: it will depend on the effect of West wind on me, from which I expect great things. In fact I am wonderfully well, considering. Jane has been but poorly all winter; recovering now. She sends her love to you all. My blessing with you dear Brother. Ever yours

T. Carlyle