The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 17 July 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520717-TC-JAC-01; CL 27: 172-173


Chelsea, Saturday, 17 july 1852—

My dear Brother,

Your Letter came yesternight; and was very welcome, tho' brief. We expect a longer soon!— I scarcely know whether I myself have 10 minutes, or only 5, to finish this, and to dress for the streets: at any rate I have evidently not a second to lose!

The hurlyburly goes on here as before; the uproar fully equal to our fears, the progress alas very much behind our hopes! However, we have no resource but to be patient; he is reported and seems to be a very honest man in whose hands we are: and evidently they are making ready a considerable improvement in the upper portions of this house. The heat of the weather is a sad aggravation; with that and the early noise, it becomes nearly impossible to get enough of sleep for the agitated human tabernacle: more than once poor Jane and I have met, out of lairs at 1 a.m., and smoked a silent pipe, with very little clothing indeed, down in the garden. Even Nero the Dog is rather unhappy. However, we had a thunderstorm last night; it surprised Jane & me in Cheyne Walk, and drove us into a ginshop for half an hour: a perfect Niagara of rain, tho' the thunder was very gentle. Today there is damp lowering heat still, and the rain is clearly not done;—it will help us all a little, our poor old Mother at Scotsbrig and us here too!—

Meanwhile I had decided that there could be no good continuing here till the job were done; that in fact I ought to get away: I once gone, Jane wd go to sleep in Darwin's empty house, go on little visits &c, and be much better, while architecting here. In brief, I wrote to Thomas Erskine: “charmed to see me, and they are quite alone”;—so thither I am bound, if not by the first Dundee Steamer (of the 21st), then by the next of the 28th: that is settled. “Ten days” at Linlathen (“a bathe, and 6 hours every day to myself);—after which, I think you may tell my Mother, I will wend towards Annandale again. Germany still hovers in the distance, as possible, nay as necessary; but surely Annandale, and the precious things that lie there, will be first!— I will write again, if I do sail on Wedy first; if not, not certainly.

This No of the Revue des 2 Mondes, which you must interpret to my Mother, will amuse you a little; it belongs to Jane, and I am to bid you take all care of that hideous French Portrait!1—Give my love to my Mother and them all.

Ever yours /

T. Carlyle