The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 14 November 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18501114-TC-JAC-01; CL 25: 281-282


Chelsea, 14 Novr, 1850

My dear Brother,

Last night about 7 o'clock, and not sooner, the Scotsbrig Packets arrived; where they have been all this while I have no guess,—but they don't seem to have taken the full benefit of steam in coming from you to us! I suppose the Pickford people may delay them more or less about Carlisle, and then after arriving in London there is again delay about Euston Square: at all events, we ought to know in time coming, such is their rule: best part of a week between Scotsbrig and this. The very moderate charge was five and four-pence, in all.

For the rest, everything was perfectly safe; nothing whatever had gone wrong, except the state of the two “Chuckas,“1 which latter depended upon Time! The poor Chuckas had got considerably maimed; indeed one of them, I think, was almost hors-de-combat, or two like that: but Jane will take wise order about them; and some result will be realized still. One thing only we must remember: not to send any more of that or other perishable ware by so uncertain a conveyance. The Ham, from my dear Mother, was very conspicuous, and the tongue, and the bar of shaving-soap for me;—dear good Mother! The Butter is not yet broken up, nor the meal, nor has anything been tried by the practical test: I can only thank everybody, and wish with all my heart there may ever be plenty where these good things came from! Farther particulars in future Letters.

We have clearish weather, generally of a superior sort, with little fog; no frost hitherto till today, when some such tendency has become traceable. Nothing to complain of in weather; in fact nothing that I should complain of at all but the wretched state of my “digestive-apparatus,” which plagues me beyond all else, and sometimes won't behave handsomely at all! But that is an old story now; and I must try to make the best of it as formerly. Jane seems pretty well, considering her and the season we are in: she has now much more composure, the new Servant being fairly at work, and seemingly promising very well. Many little things have altered in and about the house since I left it in July: she has put me, for example, a fine new grate in this upstairs room (in the style of the one downstairs), curtains &c are all put in order; on the other hand a new rather noisy Tenant has come into No 6:—change rushes on forever in this world! No work for me yet; alas no: but there shall be, if I live.

I am much pleased to hear of my Mother's reading; Burnet2 will do very well if it do not hurt the eyes. What a fresh heart our brave old Mother has! I often feel as if she were 20 years younger in heart than I, in place of older. Oh take care of her, be careful of her, all of you! Thank Jamie & Isabella for their pains about this Packet; and Good be with all of you. Your affecte brother

T. Carlyle