The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 8 March 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500308-TC-JCA-01; CL 25: 42-43


Chelsea, 8 March, 1850—

Dear Jean,—Thanks for your Letter which has just come. I am sorry you have been disappointed of your Pamphlet at the due time; I suppose it must have been some oversight at Edinburgh: if you can point out any improvement I could introduce into the method here (but, alas, how can you!) I would gladly set about enforcing it.— Meanwhile to still your impatience for this time, here is the Pamphlet itself; I hope it will still be in time for your evening delivery tomorrow: at all events you will get it on monday morning. “A fiery ettercap”1 of a thing! The discordant noise raised about these publications is immense,—mostly in the way of censure (I believe) from the poor fry of people that write reviews; but here and there I catch too some valuable quiet vote in the other direction; and believe it is all right not the less.— No 3 is done, after a hard fight; it is much inferior to No 2, but we couldn't help it. No 4 [words missing] is properly a second half of No 3, for the thing swelled so, [words missing]e.— — The liver and nerves are very bad indeed, sleep [words missing] I often think of running off altogether into the country till I get these things done; if Jenny had a tolerable room at Dumfries, I feel now and then as if that might be a refuge to me, for in truth I am like to be ill off! Could she not get some airier and bigger cottage, think you, on the green Troquier heights2 with a room in it which one could furnish &c? I believe I could do capitally with Jenny if there were a house. Seriously I wish you would speak with Jenny, and consult and consider this before Whitsunday come round. If I heard of a favourable cottage there, it wd be a considerable temptation; one could furnish up a room, and go and come as one wanted a little country quiet.3 But of course you must not fix on anything till—! For, in fact, this is mere groping and glauming; a piece of the shore where the tired swimmer thinks he might land!— A letter from Jack came along with yours; containing a Note from Alick's Jane, which I may send. Adieu dear Sister. My blessing on you all.— T. Carlyle