The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 19 February 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530219-TC-JCA-01; CL 28: 47-48


Chelsea, 19 feby, 1853—

Dear Sister,—Here [is a] Packet of Canada Letters whh I received last night from Jack, dating “Scotsbrig,” with the commission to forward them to you by next post; as I now do. They are all struggling along in Canada, as you will, much in the old fashion: Jack reports farther that our Mother, who continued still in bed, was not worse than he had seen her last week, but “decidedly better,”—tho', alas, we cannot think that “better” means a very comfortable state, in her state in the present weather! For the rest, he writes with inexpressible haste, and gives no particulars. I wait for a more lucid description when you pay your visit:—don't forget the little commission you undertook.

We have rather severe weather here really; a distinct thin coating of [snow and sleet] fallen in various forms, and at various [local]ities, for the last ten days: a good har[d frost] now at length come upon the scene, end[ing that] grey sleety concern; and we have, for two or t[hree] hours daily, a bright sun, with keen north-wind, whh brings mankind to their overcoats and shawls, and is really not to be despised as weather,—especially if you can walk fast. Poor Jane has taken a little cold; but I think is better again, and gone out today.

I have seen nothing more of Brown,1 nor heard anything that was distinct: I mean to make another pilgrimage that way, one of these days; and expect to find him much as he was; and will advise a Letter to Aird for one thing. Poor Aird; it is really very dreary the picture you give of him in his solitude, in his blue cloak over the fire!—

You once sent me a pair of excellt whaings (thongs, leather shoe ties, not too thick) from Dumfries: if you like now to do that feat again I think it will be welcome just about this time! I have a heavy pair of patched gutta-percha [boots which n]othing under leather will tie: they are ugly [but they] defend me triumphantly agt all wet.—[words missing]. Yours ever

T. Carlyle