October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 3 April 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460403-TC-AC-01; CL 20: 156-157


Chelsea, 3 April, 1846—

My dear Brother,

Nobody can well have less time than I at present! But it seems uncertain whether there is any Letter going for you by this Packet: so I, in never such haste, will send you a little fraction of a Line, to assure you that nothing has gone wrong here. I received that Note from Jack at Scotsbrig this morning: that will be an assurance to you, and well worth its postage by itself.— Jenny, you perhaps know, is to flit into Dumfries at Whitsunday; she has got a small comfortable kind of house, they say, in Maxwelltown there. The rest of the hasty Note (Jack seldom writes deliberately) you will understand by its own light.

I am still terribly busy with the Second Edition of this Book, and new Letters I have got to crush into it: but now I am drawing towards the end of my difficulties in that. Did your Copy ever come? I gave you the Montreal address (which I have forgotten now): but probably a Yankee Copy was cheaper than the carriage of that other: they are selling it for a half-a-dollar in Yankeeland, tho' it costs 36 / here.1— The people have made a considerable buzz about it in this Country; and indeed I believe it will do them a great deal of good, poor blockheads:—at all events, I am right glad it has nearly got out of my hands at last.

The people are toiling along in the most wearisome Debates about their Corn Law; which is very sure to be abolished, as Peel has appointed: nothing can be more entirely wearisome than their “debates” upon it. And in the meanwhile there is an indubitable Famine coming upon Ireland; a Scarcity upon all places of this Empire: the potatoes are fast running out everywhere;—and we are a good way off August yet! Our season hitherto is very good as to weather; and several weeks ahead of what it usually is in point of vegetation

Jane is staying out in the Country with some Friends, for a week or two; about ten miles off: she comes in on the Wednesdays; sees how I am getting on. She is pretty well in health; as I am too,—tho' much fagged. Dear Brother, you must write to some of us; if you have not very lately written! How are Jenny and the little new Stranger?2 I have heard no tidings specially since that event. I suppose you too are busy in these Spring days; tilling the face of old Mother Earth,—urging her, far off, by Annandale Art, to grow you a little corn! It is an honest function for a man, and God the Maker looks on it well-pleased! I pray for all blessings on you, Dear Brother, here and hereafter. Ever Yours

T. Carlyle