August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 28 January 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470128-TC-JAC-01; CL 21:147-148.


Bay House, Alverstoke, 28 jany, 1847—

My dear Brother,

Thanks for your Letter, which lay waiting for [me]1 on the hall table this morning; I am very glad to hear that there is nothing wrong yet at Scotsbrig, now while so much in other quarters is wrong. Poor Mrs Carlyle2 seems to have been in a dangerous way; and, I suppose, must take this as an intimation that she has a course of weak health to look for in time coming. Did I ever tell you that old Mr Buller too had a stroke of palsy lately, since they returned to England? He is said to be nearly altogether recovered; but they still “forbid him chess, ” which I suppose indicates a very uncertain state of nerves. They are in Devonshire ever since their return; Mrs Buller is said to have got much benefit from her Italian sojourn.—

Poor Jenny's little lassie seems to have been in a dangerous condition for some days, and must have given her Mother much anxiety. You speak twice about sending money to Jenny; I left a commission with Jean to apprise me if any pressure came in that respect, but she has not yet thought necessary to write: I am well aware the year is much dearer than usual; if you, who are on the spot and know the details, can inform me what increase of income would be rational and proper this year, I will with great promptitude transmit my part of it whensoever the right time is.3

We have terribly windy weather here; otherwise genial and of mild temperature. We are doing very tolerably well: in the end of last week Jane took sore-throat; nobody could well say why; ulcerated sore-throat; and for three days she had a very bad time of it; but now the disorder is quite gone, and she is visibly better than before for a long time past. I myself do little reading, little of anything; rove about in silence among the whins and shingle-beaches here; and I suppose shall get profit in the long run.— Richardson came to see Jane's throat yesterday; but it was then well: he was here to dine on Saturday last; a man worthy to be held in real esteem by men. We have no other neighbour thro' the week, except the Charterises (a beautiful young pair of people, useless to me, but capable of playing chess with Jane): on Saturday, regularly, Baring returns from Parlt, with news and companions; and till Monday or Tuesday again there is a considerable noise,—which makes the silence welcomer. Last Saturday we had Buller, Milnes, and one Ellis (the Highland Laird they were visiting last year) a highly plausible old Scotch-American, most copious courteous in speech,—somewhat of a Humbug withal.4 Who is coming next Saturday is still a Secret, except that Buller always comes for one.

I had this Letter yesterday from Varnhagen, which is hardly worth sending. The Geschenk [Gift] is a Model of Shakespeare's Tomb in Stratford Church, rather a nice little thing, for which I gave 2 sovereigns, partly also by way of encouragement to the poor Artist.5

Give my Mother our united continual love. Tell her not to venture out too far, till the wind fall, and the times mend. I will write again soon. Blessings with you all. Your affecte T. Carlyle