The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 10 January 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520110-TC-JAC-02; CL 27: 10-11


Chelsea 10 jany 1852

Dear Brother,

I have written on another sheet a Letter for showing to Adamson; whh, if you mean to act on that line of operations, ought to be despatched immediately. But is not Candlemas (2d feby) the final term; which leaves us barely 2 weeks for advertising, or perhaps in certain of the Newspapers only one? If that is not the case, and Jamie1 still persists in his opinion about the rent of the place (reckoning in its “remoteness of situation” &c &c), then go ahead at once,—and let the issue be what it will: we shall have done our best; and that is properly the only point in the least essential.

But on the whole, I must as good as altogether refer myself (according to what I said already) to Jamie's good judgment and yours; I pray you again therefore to act for me, as you would for yourselves; in my present position outward and inward I can do nothing so wise as invite Jamie to lend me his experience and practical sense in the matter, and to walk by that.— Bell,2 of course, were quite as good a tenant for me as M'Queen; and I see no reason why M'Queen agt him shd have £10 favour shown him, as I originally proposed agt unknown competition. In fact I know nothing abt this M'Queen; have heard only that he is very timid, stingy, and able to pay what he bargains for. For the rest, as there is no time to lose, do not embarras3 yourself with writing to me (when that is embarrassing), but act at once when your mind is clear, and I will sanction.— Did Jamie and you look at all at the woods? I could like they were put in some way of welldoing, if they are not already so. If anything seem doable in that respect, pray do it. I wd also willingly encourage any draining or otherwise improving man: perhaps for that object Bell is a likelier person than M'Queen?— In short, my dear Brother, I have very little knowledge about the affair at all, and must depend upon Jamie's chiefly, as collected, sifted, and translated into action by yourself: all that I do decidedly feel or know about the matter has now, I think, been imparted to you. And so we will leave the negociation in your hands; and wish a right happy issue to it. Any reasonable issue, and fair end to what is so foreign an affair, will be very welcome to me.

The very day I wrote to my Mother, poor Jane caught a cold, and could not rise next morning. Yesterday evg she decided on morphine (abt midnight) and despatched me to bed; in about half an hour, the morphine took away every trace of face-ache and other pain, in fact ended the cold,—but she did not withal sleep one wink; and so she still lies, without suffering, but giddy when she attempts to get up. We have hard frost this morning, and the wind gone. Decidedly cold, tho' the sun is shining. I hope nevertheless Jane will, with care, find herself quit of her bad enemy at this price.

Tonight I am to go and dine with Thos Erskine who is living at 44. Lowndes Street4 these two or three weeks, with his women &c, and meaning to stay for a while, poor Mrs Patterson5 being in a bad way with a bronchitis, whh is often like to choke her,—tho' now thot to be recovering. It is inconceivable how one's evenings are eaten up here; and there does not once in 20 times, or perhaps 40 times, a person call whom I wd not instantaneously postpone to a book, if I had my choice. Heigho!— The Note you sent back to me was from an unknown young blockhead, of ambitious nature, in Yorkshire,6 who requested me to write him some “exhortations.” I instantly burnt his foolery, and so ended.— — You never told me what became of the Miss Little that stumbled into the Burn, poor Lady;7—I hope she is nearly or altogether well again.— — The Article on Mary Stuart in the Wr Review is by Froude,8 much the best of the lot. Sterling 2d editn is out; and I have 2 copies for Annandale. Love to my good Mother, and them all.— In great haste. Your affectionate T. Carlyle