April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 19 September 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480919-TC-JAC-01; CL 23: 114-115


The Grange, 19 Septr, 1848—

My dear Brother,

We received your two Letters,1 the second this morning; and need not say that they were right welcome to us. Your news is wholly good, and your way of sending it good; one wishes for many more such Letters.

That was an excellent thing that of taking our Mother over to Cressfield;2 a thing that waited for you to do it,—for I, tho' I rejoice to know it done, could never myself have done it. Alas, I am always in such a state of gloom and misery when out on my travels,— —and when in from them too, I am little better! There is something very interesting to me in the history of these poor Miss Littles; elderly maidens whom I can look back upon as rosy children of my own size. It is literally true that I have “paidled in the burn” with them:3 such scenes are distinctly present in my memory at this moment. When you next call at Cressfield, offer my kind regards to the two good Ladies, and say it is impossible I can ever forget them in this world, or cease to wish all that is good to them!— I am glad also to hear of Hunter's visit: I hope you and he are managing to do poor Miss Grahame some benefit.4

At The Grange here our weather and all outward equipments continue good; but the inner man (in one of our cases at least) begins to get decidedly a little weary of the affair! I hear nothing of its ending, however;—for the people, as you may conjecture, live by company; as poor people with 40 or 50 thousand a-year are obliged to do in this country: with them, I suppose, the matter need not end for weeks and weeks yet. But on my own side,—especially unless I get to sleep a little better,—I believe it cannot hold out very long! Jane, who seems to like it, and does better with it than I, may continue after me till she has had enough.— — Our company is not worth talking about, since I wrote last: Buller, little Fleming (Mephisto in a wig, as I called him), a Lady Montague (who sings well),5 Lady Sandwich (who abounds in cheerful gossip, and knows all manner of women and men), these with two “young Ladies” much interested in the Church &c and young gentn to match;—and for the current week, Henry Taylor and Aubrey de Vere, the two greatest bores, especially the former, we have had at all yet. De Vere I could rather like if by himself; for he is a serious tho' very soft, Puseyish6 and theoretic young Irish gentleman; but Taylor and he, with their mutual admiration, much aggravate one another; and, in brief, my best resource is to keep considerably out of their way! “Making of wits” is, as you say, a wretched trade;7 and except the Lady A. herself and C. Buller, none here do it, even it, tolerably well:—ach Gott! I defend myself agt the twaddle-deluge, as I can; sometimes break in with some fierce realism, condemnatory of the whole business, which seems [to] amuse them more thany8 anything!— Tell my Mother I fear, I fear! Ah me!— But there is not a minute more today: another soon. Yours ever

T. Carlyle