January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 12 August 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450812-TC-JAC-01; CL 19: 140-141


Chelsea, Tuesday night [12 August 1845].

Dear Brother,

I have received both your Letters, and am thankful even for the last, brief as it is: any word you send me is a new item in the credit account by the Laws of Arithmetic. I am really exceedingly busy; and living like an owl, I could write nothing even if I had time.

Your first Letter I was very far from burning;1 but I will say nothing about it, much as I may think: we will leave that matter to be ripened by the Destinies, and pray that a good issue may one day arrive. Speech of mine, I now see with much repentance, has done only mischief to it: at lowest it may claim silence from me; silence, and the truest wishes of a brother's heart, it shall have, if I can so manage.— Dr Hunter2 left a Book for you here: did I tell you of that before?

Jane is still at Seaforth; seems to take well with her quarters there; has no talk of Wales yet, much less of returning hither. For myself I keep struggling along: I have hopes of getting thro' all the Documents this week; there will then remain only the winding-up,—in some neat and as yet invisible way. I never was more sick of any job; nothing but a kind of real piety gives me some encouragement from time to time, and keeps me alive at it. The quantities of brutal rubbish that I seem to myself to have swept, or set men on the way of sweeping, from the face of a Great Man, are perhaps considerable.— Our City has grown entirely empty; the Barings too are off this day for a Scotch Tour; so I have now nothing but Darwin, some once a-week: other parties, mostly a mere sorrow to me, I have succeeded in banishing. None comes, hardly even a Letter that I answer: I sit “annihilating rubbish,” in a very solitary manner indeed. Today I was round by Highgate, and returned by Islington and the streets:3 a daily gallop is my sole sight of the living world;—the horse very useful to me in that respect.

Anthony Sterling and W. Cunningham with their Wives4 are off to Germany. Old Sterling, poor old fellow, has had a stroke of apoplexy; is lying even now, I believe, recovering from it, in the Queen's Hôtel at Manchester, where it came upon him first. Anthony went to Manchester for two days; then proceeded on his Tour about a week ago.

You have not yet settled about leaving Leamington. If you had any call hitherward at such an empty time, of course the house here has room enough for you.— I must go to Sloane Square yet with this, and it is late. I had written to Jamie, and heard word about my Mother. I hope the Sea bathing will do her good. Adieu, dear Brother; I must off!