July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO ISABELLA CARLYLE ; 11 January 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480111-TC-IC-01; CL 22: 200-201


Chelsea (Tuesday) 11 jany / 1848

Dear Isabella,

Many thanks for your prompt Letter. It has been sent up, as you may infer, from the Hampshire Address, our journey thither having failed; and reaches me still before leaving Chelsea. I wrote to my Mother yesterday, explaining by what bad accident we were still here; how I had engaged to go by myself on Wednesday (tomorrow); and promising another word before I went.

Our frost still continues, calm and grey; nevertheless Jane has had sleep last night (almost contrary to my hopes), and feels considerably easier and quieter today: so that, I suppose, there is nothing for it but my setting out tomorrow as proposed,—tho' I confess I have but small heart in the business, and would decidedly prefer sitting in a silent condition, cowering over my own ingle in this grim weather. The Dr was here last night, as usual; very attentive: but there can little be done; good care till the weather soften,—that is nearly all.

We are very sorry to hear of poor Mary's illness; we hope she will creep close into some warm nook, and keep quiet till the storm go.1 My poor Mother too is evidently very weak; but I trust she herself, and you for backing, will take every care of her, and prevent matters from getting worse; we cannot well expect great improvement till the weather soften. Many thanks to you, dear Isabella, for the attention you shew to my Mother: you know well you could not, nor could any one otherwise so vitally oblige me! I hope now this frost may be the last of the season:—Jack speaks of coming down to Scotsbrig, if my Mother grew worse;—but this, we trust will not be needed. He will be down before very long, I think, at any rate: his Translation proceeds apace; and he will want a holiday after that job is done. He has stood very toughly to it; that must be admitted by all.— Has he written to you again about your Sister? We are both of us much concerned to hear of her sad ailment.2 I myself think there should be an Operation consulted of immediately. Carlisle is now close upon you by railway; there must be some good Surgeon there; and above all, an operation now is without pain.3

I will write again to some of you in a day or two. Keep within doors; and take care of yourselves, all of you weak ones! Yours ever truly / T. Carlyle.