April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 14 August 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480814-TC-JAC-01; CL 23: 92-93


Chelsea, 14 Augt, 1848—

Dear Brother,

Thanks for your punctual Note which we recd on Saturday Night:1 it was strange to us, all Friday, that you were to sup at Scotsbrig that night after breakfasting in Chelsea, among such a foreign class of objects!— We are heartily thankful to hear again of our good Mother, and that you found her so well. No gladder thing, I fancy, could happen to her than the sight of you once again in this world!— You must take to a serious examination of Jamie, and really try whether you cannot help him somewhat.2 I guess, his ailment is the family one, that of liver; in which case it seems next to certain some considerable good could be done him in the way of regimen and diet, of which hitherto he has been quite careless. Try, try!

We have nothing here but incessant splashes, rain from all airts [directions],—from the east today; yesterday Scotch mist, from no airt, or from all;—and so on. Anthony Sterling reports the condition of the crops, all lying out cut in this weather, as very questionable.

We had W. Coningham here yesterday afternoon, with whom (to turn him to some account) I went to walk. He also, it appears, he and his Wife are for Keir;3 to be there “about the end of this month”: you, if you go (as would be fit), keep off that particular date!— — Jane and I do tolerably well here, now that everybody is gone: I think it is among the quietest places one could expect to find at this season.

What you said of the poor bodies “wheeling their coals” at Ecclefechan was sad enough to me; hopeful however that the Error, as would appear, is still remediable! Certainly I will subscribe to help the poor bodies; put down your name and my own for whatever sum you find to be suitable, the same for each. And here, you perceive, is a most handfast Statement of the case, drawn up by me today; which I hope may do some good when presented! You can read it as it passes;—it will only cost a day's detention, and one penny stamp:—if there be any error committed by me of sufficient importance, I wish you would yourself take some opportunity (straightway) of rectifying it to C. Stewart himself; but I do not think there is.4

Anne is going to be married,—lover and she go to Jersey, where living is cheap, resources abundant; and so they will venture: not for a month or two however, that “Missus” be put to no inconvenience. It is probably just as well,—after that hysterical development!5

You will write soon again, and give me news of my Mother and them all. Yours ever

T. Carlyle