October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 18 February 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460218-TC-JAC-01; CL 20: 123-125


Chelsea, 18 feby, 1846—

My dear Brother,

Last night I received your Letter; I had got an agreeable little Note from Jean, about the same business, by the morning Post. I am very glad poor little Jenny has got a promising place for herself at Dumfries: it was much the eligiblest for her of all the proposed Towns; and I have a hope she will find it do well for her. Let her in all ways be encouraged, poor little Sister Jenny, and given to understand that she shall not be deserted, but screened and helped, while she conducts herself as heretofore.— I rejoice greatly to hear from all sides that our Mother's health is so tolerable this winter. She might write a little Note herself some day;—but I suppose she is busier than usual, and thinks you are there to write. Tell me of Isabella too, next time. Scotsbrig must be much amended by these small acts of civilization: my half of the outlay they occasioned shall be very cheerfully sustained. Give Jamie two sovereigns for me, if that be the sum, and I will pay you when first there is opportunity. The Foot bridge is really the repair of a very ugly defect, which had lasted already far too long!1

Grahame's man, Blake, proved a very innocent, modest, ingenuous character;2 did me no ill at all, and it seems is thankful that I did not eat his head off:—thankful for the day of small things!

I bore along here, conquering as I can a very numerous and very despicable set of confusions, in behalf of this last service for Oliver; which I promise myself shall be the last, in the Letter way. I have now got to the end of the Irish Campaign, all but one Piece which Christie is copying for me at the Museum,—which, till I see it, I cannot fully decide what to do with. There are some 30 new Letters introduced; must be a few more,— but the remainder will not now occasion me so much difficulty. Of the Daily News I know nothing by sight; and not much by hearing: I learn only, when Craik or some such man comes athwart me, that it is very commonplace, not considered to be a promising affair &c &c Indeed few speak of it, I think. Forster does not appear; Fox is said to be Political Redacter; Dickens himself is Editor, twaddles about his Italian travels and so forth.3 “A dull mismanaged Morning Chronicle” is what Darwin calls it,—“all about Civil and Religious Liberty which nobody can read!”4— — My friend Dawson I have heard of as some kind of young Dissenting Preacher at Birmingham, who preaches Carlyleism at a great rate, with much success there.5

We dined at the Barings's the other night: a considerable body of Whig and Tory quality; productive of a headache to me. The best fun, I think, was the definition given of Peel as “the successfullest Pigdriver of these times.”6— “Which way are you going today, Pat?”— Hush! I'm going to Cork; but I'm making him belave it's to Mullingar all the while!”7

Adieu dear Brother. My love and blessings to my dear good Mother and to them all. Yours ever T. Carlyle