The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 4 March 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530304-TC-JCA-01; CL 28: 62


Chelsea, Friday Evg [4 March 1853]

Dear Jean,—The foregoing Note,1 just arrived, is the only direct news I have had from Scotsbrig later than what you sent me. Before your Note, 2 days I think, Jack had sent me a Letter quite analogous to that of the same date which you got from him, and forwarded hither. I should have been in a great alarm had your Letter reached me first; but having your date, and having already a later account, I was more composed. Our poor old Mother! We cannot hope now to keep her long; God has given us already many good days and years with her: and the saddest thing one's heart can fancy (it has been my fear, really, ever since I had any understanding), has become a thing that must be. Stern and sad, yet great too and divine, it looks to me often while I am lying awake in my bed. But I reflect withal, “Thou too shalt thyself soon die, perhaps still sooner!”—and so there remains nothing but, as usual, to look up to our Maker, and say reverently “Yea!”—

I can gather but little out of Isabella's Letter: however, it seems on the whole, as if things were much in their general weak way again, only aggravated by the bad weather. We have rain here, genuine westerly rain, tonight; and everywhere, let us hope, there must rapidly be a change in the weather,—for our good old Mother's sake, as for so many other sakes.

Poor Jane has taken a bad headache today;—and even now cries to me, thro' the wall (from her bed where she has taken refuge) that I must give up writing. It is time at any rate. Therefore Adieu. I hope for more Scotsbrig news from Jack very soon.

You cannot imagine the benefit I have already got from those eminent whaings!— Yours ever / T. Carlyle