The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 20 November 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511120-TC-JAC-01; CL 26: 235-237


Chelsea, 20 Novr, 1851—

My dear Brother,—Here has a Letter come for you, which as I knew it to be nothing but the “Certificates” of that grunting blockhead A. Ker,1 I have opened before sending it off, to introduce into it a short bulletin of my own. Ker has “failed,”—of course,—and will not let it stand so, but grunts and murmurs new assurances of his resignation, magnanimity &c. I myself, except telling you that we continue well, have hardly a word to say.

We keep very quiet and studious; I reading Preuss's big Book of Frederick the Great, a terribly2 hulk of a compilation,—not without some considerable private love for Frederic; whom, if I were a Prussian, I wd write about. We have been out nowhere, except one evening to Senior's to dinner; a dullish set, Crawford (Sterling's old Crawford) and others. I ride often, A Sterling's horse being idle: but we have cold frost, which is not so good as summer for the horse man: I must either get myself a pair of leg-and-foot overalls, or else give it up. Today, however, I am to go with Twistleton; whh is the first time I have had the charm of company in my rides. A. Sterling has run over to Ireland for a fortnight: his Zinc House can't be rightly heated, and doesn't answer at all.— What is my poor Mother doing in this grim weather? Oh take care of her! I hope the Gill Lassie3 has come: it is clearly, as you say, improper and impossible that our poor Mother should rise to kindle fires &c, and do witht some kind of household help, especially in the cold dark season. Wine does her little good, I am afraid? If it do her any,—do but let me know, and she shall not want for it. Look too that her flannel clothes are in order. And give her my love always: ah me!—

Robson is at the 2d edition of Sterling, as you know; I have sent him 3 or 4 corrections, and take no farther charge at all. The foolish people talk of this Book, as if it were a great new thing! And possibly the Times Balderdash has shoved it faster abroad.4 For example, the other night a French able editor (he of the Revue de 2 mondes) applies to me for a copy; also for a Portrait of myself, and even for some touches of authentic “Autobiography”:—ach Gott! I bid Chapn send him the copy; but as to the rest, “Sorry to say, Monsr!”— I wish I were at another Book; that is all.

Adamson writes to me that Puttoch will be out of lease next whitsunday; Macqueen5 is willing to stay at £180 a-year, “unless we want the big House again.” It has struck me, I wish Jemmy,6 or some skilful man, cd go and look at the place, before long, and give me a word of counsel about it? I hope Isabella is better. My love to one and all. Adieu, dear Brother.— T. C.