The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 29 April 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530429-TC-JAC-01; CL 28: 125-126


Chelsea, 29 April 1853—

My dear Brother,

I certainly ought to have announced at least that the Postage Stamps came safe; and that nothing had gone wrong here! But I have been much occupied and bothered; and only answer the second of your Notes or two at once.

We have again very bitter weather here; of late days very sunless, windy (Northwind too); all things very bleak and cold: today there is brisk continued rain from the North, as there was on Monday last;1 and we long much, on all grounds, for an improvement of weather. My poor Mother: I am again very anxious about her in such a temperature! Her strength is worn to a thread, and she can stand nothing with impunity as she once could. I do hope this fit of winter climate will be the last for this season. Pray do not neglect to send me Scotsbrig news whenever you have or can get any.

We have got the carpenters &c here all this week, as I predicted to you; I sit exiled aloft into my bedroom, not quite a bad place either, and quieter than below, only in cold weather draughty (which will mean lumbago-ish), and in all weathers, bookless. I am not sure these wretched people will even get out of my room tomorrow;—but I must study to suppress the volcanic emotions of the human mind, and wait, and wait! I have scribbled pretty diligently up here, and covered more paper than usual in the time (unhappily all will go to the fire at last, and nothing is yet right anywhere):—today again I am up to the neck in Letters of various kinds (so very few of them my own in any sense, eheu!)—and shall not get a word written, even for the fire. Steady, steady!—

Neuberg, when we last heard of him about a fortnight ago, was paying visits in the Nottingham region, still to be out for 10 days: most probably he is now come home again tho' we have not yet heard of him. His home Address is: “25. Church Place, Hampstead”; a Letter directed thither will of course be forwarded if needful.— This too is one of the things I should have straightway told you.

Here is a Letter from Mrs Phillipps, “Kitty Kirkpatrick” that was;2 which, pray, burn when you have read it. Poor Kitty, what a business she has got of it, and her poor man has got: “age is dark and unlovely” in some respects! However, she seems to take it very gently, with real inarticulate piety (better than her articulate Roman-Catholic do); and is, in fact, a well conditioned, peaceably harmonious soul.

The world is in love with Gladstone's Budget here; and, in spite of the desperate Protectionist-Irish strategies, it is confidently expected to pass, nearly unaltered, probably this week yet, or early next. Very good. He has taken 2½ millions off the Landlord stomach again; and no Landlord, publicly, ventures to say a word.3— — When you go to Scotsbrig, you will see a Letter of Gordon's about a Pension for Mrs Glen: part of my work today has been writing about that business,—for the Glen Papers, Petition &c have now arrived:—I have little confidence in any success for this adventure; but am bound to do what I can.

Jane is often speaking about some notion she has of actually visiting you in Moffat; you will, I guess, hear of it articulately by and by. I myself feel utterly downcast at the notion of any travel (with its tumults and horrors), & think often of trying to sit absolutely still for this year. “The country”—alas, yes, the country, and some other things; but to me there is little but loss and confusion appointed in the country, such an unhappy cobweb of a skin have I now got. “Sparrow-like, companionless, on the housetop alone!” (as the Psalmist wrote).4 Adieu, dear Brother: there is some rage in me yet, I believe, if it were properly kindled. Voyons. Yours ever T. Carlyle