October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 2 January 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460102-TC-AC-01; CL 20: 90-92


Chelsea, 2 jany, 1846—

My dear Brother,

Will you accept from me a very hasty Note, conveying almost nothing. I am again, and especially at this moment, very busy,—contrary to my expectation, for I have had weeks of idleness since you last heard of me; but I did not think they were to end again so soon.

The essential message I have to deliver you at present is, That a Copy of the Book on Cromwell addressed to you was duly despatched (by the New York or Boston Steamer, I think) five or four weeks ago, To the Care of

Messrs Armour and Ramsay, Booksellers,

where doubtless it is now lying; waiting that you should send for it. The Address was the common one on your Letters. I did not write earlier to announce it, because I did not know how the Booksellers were to contrive sending it,—not till after the last Packet had sailed. I do not know if this is a good way? I meant it to get to you free of expense: but the Booksellers tell me this “Armour and Ramsay” will very likely charge carriage for it, and may even keep it till they see clearly how they are to be paid. The carriage of such a bulk, by way of separate Parcel, might come to 10 or 15 shillings, some say;—which I am very sorry to hear! The selling value of the Book is but 36/,—and probably you could get a Yankee Copy cheaper than the carriage (for they have already pirated two editions from me, I hear1): on the whole, you must do what you find desirable; and I shall be very glad if you get that small memorial of my love to you, on any moderate terms.

John has told you, there is to be a new edition of the Book; for, contrary to all human expectation, it proves rather popular here! A new edition with improvements, with a good many new Letters &c that have turned up in consequence of the first edition:—I am extremely busy once more, endeavouring to gather these, and see what I am to do with them. Of this new edition also you shall have a Copy, and I will try to send it by some better conveyance. I dislike the work I am again upon very much;—yet surely ought not to grudge that I am set upon it!—

John has pretty fully told you all our important news here; especially the good accounts from Annandale, for which you will be as we are very thankful. Newspapers will teach you what Political changes are afloat,— promised abrogation of the Corn-Laws &c. For indeed there is little other than a prospect of famine in various quarters of this Kingdom at present. The Potatoes seem totally ruined; either rotted, or else irretrievably rotting. They are at 4 for three half-pence in Chelsea at present, near a halfpenny apiece! And even at that price they are next to uneatable; the rot in them all. Judge what Ireland will be! Happily there are capital wages in Scotland (owing to railway work) and plenty of employment. Our weather too is very mild.

Jane and I have been almost six weeks away, living with “great people,” very friendly to us, down in Hampshire. It did not suit us too well, that totally idle life, beset with flunkies at every hand; but the people too were very good and friendly;—they are the Lord Ashburton people (the Son and his Wife). It struck us with an almost sacred feeling to read your last brave toilsome manful Letter in that grand idle drawingroom of theirs!— Adieu my brave Brother: may God's blessing be with you all.

Your faithful

T. C.