The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 17 April 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520417-TC-JAC-01; CL 27: 84-85


Chelsea, 17 April, 1852—

My dear Brother,

Your Letter announcing the arrival of the Box had not come when I wrote and sealed, this day week; but it came duly before my Note was posted, and I wrote on the back “Brief gekom̅en [Letter received],” which however you had not noticed. All was right on that side. Since then there has little or nothing happened; all going on in its usual rather dusty east-windish way, except perhaps that I have been a little busier than usual, and am taking more and more to my German historical studies. I have got a goodish stock of Maps, and a bran-new machine to hold them moreover; I find it add a singular solidity to all one otherwise learns to have the place where accurately pictured in one's mind. Neuberg's Books have arrived, too; a very small stock, and with an enormously high carriage to pay from Bonn (the price of the Books to me there was 17 /by N.'s account; the “Carriage and Duty” is 18 / !) but they are good, some of them, especially an excellt old Büsching's Erdbeschreibung (in 9 voll. for 4/6!), and I shall get the value out of them richly after all.— — One Montégut, who reviewed me, with singular piety and intelligence in the Révue des Deux Mondes has sent me a small Letter (hardly worth enclosing): he and his Editor have been bothering me this long while, under various modes, for some autobiographic materials, portrait &c, which I absolutely refused to have any concern with furnishing; at1 last, two months ago, I wrote, for this Montégut, Browning's Address upon a card of mine; but even that does not seem to have finished off the man and his importunities. This morning there has come a letter from Reumont (the Naples Masaniello man), who seems to be now Prussian Resident at Florence, Jane has still got that on hand;—and indeed it is not worth sending if she were done with it. I think I sent you Reumont's Book?2 If you have any time it will interest you as a local Knower of Naples; having really considerable merit of various kinds.3— Finally there has come to me, and is not yet answered, a very meagre and melancholy dud from one of John's sons in Canada:4 I eagerly caught at it, thinking there might be word in it from Alick,—tho' the “Chelsea-row London,” which is the address, might have taught me better:—from Alick there comes no word; and I must accept your theory of the affair, and be patient.

Poor Jane is still bothered much with her servant departt; that is to say, Anne is still unwell, now “in the country” for a week past: the little girl is very active and faithful, and our Cook-woman is quite excellt in her line; but of course both of them need superintending, and in this bad weather Jane is not strong. The day before yesterday she had again, after many months, one of her bad headaches and is still rather frailish in consequence, tho' as good as thro' it now for two days.— We have still the bitterest barrenest weather, not a drop of rain; and tho' occasionally there is strong sun, the fields here offer a strange contrast to what you describe of Scotland,—hardly a hue of green to be noticed on them. Today Ld Ashburton is to give me a horse and ride with me to Addiscombe and back, with some so-called “Luncheon” intervening; the adventure, I hope will do me good. Sterling's ridings have now ceased:5 his girls, it appears, are all to be sent to some old gentlewoman (Hofdame) at Dessau,6 there to be out of harm's way! His wife is in the Asylum; poor soul, and he is himself very headlong and foolish.

Tell my Mother there were no Wodrows here, but Knox only!7 And be careful how you expose her to the Easterly blasts I am very thankful to learn how well she is,—very glad at at9 any rate. My love to one and all. Ever yours

T. Carlyle