The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 26 June 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500626-TC-JAC-01; CL 25: 102-103


Chelsea, Wedy 26 june / 1850—

Dear Brother,—Here is a Letter for you, of this morning, from Jean; I am tempted to open it for news, but decide to obey regulations and send it on in the hope of a vague “all well.” Your Times also came this morning; we could see you reading it yesterday, as you rode thro' the hot parched world; we figured your safe arrival too at Liverpool, and give you thanks for this mute symbol.1 I have despatched it, with a new cover, to my Mother; I wished to write to her also, but cannot now have time.

The house feels unnaturally still and solitary since you left it;2 in all corners yesterday I came upon silent traces of you; silent intimations saying sadly enough to me, “Poor Jack is away, then!”—On the whole I am very glad that you have staid with us again a while, that we have seen you once again. It is not easy for a man to live with men in this world! Mit den andern kannst du's nie zurecht machen [With others you can't do it right]. Alas, if you knew what a coil of outer and inner confusions I myself have now to strive with, you would be thankful to me for keeping the lid close over them, and would certainly give me your brotherly prayers!— But let us try if we can mind our work, both of us, and all of us; there is really no other remedy for mortals in this world.

Hunt came duly last night, about 8 o'clock, in a cab (being still unable for night walking), and had a plate of porridge, and the kindest reception we could give him. Poor fellow, he is much shaken; his head is much whiter, his wit has a tremulous shake of pathos in it, his eye looks sad and restless;—yet he struggles bravely towards peace and composed acquiescence;—in his clean worn clothes and linen, with his fine white head, and gentle much-enduring ways, he was really almost venerable. I studied to contradict none of his philanthropic philosophies, studied to praise and encourage him; Jane cried, and kissed him, when he went away.3— — Neuberg had been here for two of the Hunt hours; rather an extraneous element; but he went his way shortly after ten o'clock. On Saturday morning he sails; and we shall hear from him next probably from Bonn.4

Today Lewald and for a while Miss Wynn, and perhaps others, have been here; but I kept prudently upstairs, and now they are all out,—and I too am going. I have been trying at a little work again; but can hardly yet say that I have got the ground broken. Alas, I am in terribly bad case for work! But we must try “to carry our rig” the best we can, nevertheless. Tell us of your movets; tell us about Helen too, and give my best regards to Mr Welsh and the rest. Adieu. Ever your affecte T. Carlyle

You have forgot yr bacco-box, and abt 2 oz of weed in a paper here! I am already in possession.