The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 17 February 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530217-TC-JAC-01; CL 28: 46-47


Chelsea, Thursday [17 February 1853]

My dear Brother,—Here has a Letter come, which I find lying as I come down stairs (already too late) for my modicum of walk amid the snow. I despatch it without delay.

I was much obliged by your little bulletin about our Mother. This hard weather is not good for her,—nor, I doubt, for your Phoebe either. I wrote to my Mother on Monday; and hope to hear again about her, from you, one of these days. The shortest word, you are aware, is better than none.

We have our winter here, like others, now at last. Gentle snows or ungentle, almost every day there is snow; yet it never comes to anything; and the Parks and gardens hardly maintain a light ragged coat of white. We get sleet too, according to the varieties of wind; and have always frost in the mornings, crisp under foot,—generally with an hour or two of sunshine about the noon “tide,” followed by blanketted skies a while after. The worst for me is, the vile effect for the hands of the bather in the morning, which absolutely freeze in handling the cold buttons, one by one, after the plunge is over. A run however, and then a royal cup of coffee, sets all to rights. We are both of us abt as well as usual,—tho' Jane hovers on the edge of a little cold today.

Poor Forster has fallen into his rheumatic fever again; these relapses are not of good augury for him; Darwin too is a prisoner.— We work, and are very solitary here. Mazzini's “insurrection” pass[es] the bounds of the comico-tragic: too bad after all;—and ought to end that species of operations. He himself is about the Ticino region,1 and not out of danger.— Yours ever

T. Carlyle