August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN; 19 February 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470219-TC-JCA-01; CL 21:162-163.


Chelsea, 19 feby, 1847—

My dear Jean,

We have got home to our own place again; all safe, and have found all safe;—by the Express Train yesterday: a most swift-going affair, which whisks you over 88 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes, and no mistake! We are glad enough to get back to our own quiet little nook after all; we came away a week before the time expected (better on that side of the date than on the other!); pleading for our excuse that our “Brother the Doctor” was coming.— The Doctor in fact has talked about coming, for a while past, and Jane had even written to our little atom of a maid (who is a most fell [keen], punctual and knowing little body) to give him her best welcome whenever he arrived, and specially to sit up for him “on Wednesday night” (night before last) till after the hour of the last Liverpool Train: but no Doctor came; no Doctor has yet come: and this morning we get a Note from him to say that he is safe in his old lodging at Leamington (a place above half way hither from Liverpool), and not thinking to stir till “Friday” (today) “at soonest.” I have written off to him on the chance of his being still there. It seems to me likeliest he will come tomorrow. He professes himself very well: we hear otherwise he has been reading his Dante at Seaforth, seeing company &c, with great applause. If anybody could get him a spell of real work, poor fellow, and fasten him fairly into harness over it, it would be a real blessing!

His Letter encloses a Note from Isabella, which is our last Scotch news. It seems my Mother thought of coming up to you “on Tuesday”: will you write half a word, as soon as possible, and let me know whether it is so, and how our Mother actually is. I wrote a Letter to herself some three days ago; but know not whether the Scotsbrig people will forward it. We are tolerably well, very tolerably indeed both of us; Jane very greatly recovered. She is just out for a turn in the sunshine (for our weather too is now excellent), or else to do some business with the Butcher perhaps.— How my Mother is? tell me that, like a good bairn! Our affectionate regards to you all

T. Carlyle