The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 14 October 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531014-TC-JAC-01; CL 28: 290


Athenn Club London, 14 Octr 1853

My dear Brother,

Next day after I last wrote to you, your Letter lay duly waiting me at Addiscombe (whither I had come out walking): you may fancy it was a welcome sight, and a good seasoning to the pipe I had earned by my fatigues!— I staid at Addiscombe, according to program, quite alone, and very busy with books, till friday; then gathered my baggage, and did take myself away at last: to a Home, swept up (thanks to poor Jane's industry), but far from quietude still, and alas, quite incapable of such quietude as I had been lately enjoying. “Enjoying” was hardly the word either, for one's mood of mind was the very reverse of joy: but certainly such solitude was of the nature of rest, and assisted to shed the sediment out of one's mind and body: accordingly I fancy I find myself perceptibly better ever since, tho' of course daily coming towards the old low pitch again.

Next day after my return, your second Note came to me: it is the last news I yet have of our frail old Mother, and alas none of the best, tho' not worse than we may naturally fear at any time. I have written to Jean for a word of intelligence; but I rely on your punctual engagement to write at once, especially if there is bad news,—if any news come to you. And so we must be patient; and hope as long as possible, in spite of all our fears.

You would of course hear that poor Mr Welsh was gone: the tidings came quite unexpectedly, as I think the event itself had [d]one:1 poor Jane is in a very disconsolate humour ever since; speaks little about it, or about anything; is silently getting mournings ready &c: sad enough to see.

Our new apartment is nearly clear of its carpenters for a week past: an Irish labourer is at present washing out the floor &c: but the papering or even painting is impossible owing to moist plaster; the place will certainly not be habitable till spring: much if I can occasionally smoke in it with comfort. For it is yet far from completely deaf; and I foresee considerable higglings on many sides before it can be perfect. Chorley has, in silent pride, withdrawn, I hardly know why; but certainly it is according to some strict rule of his own: a lean exact, hard man, full of sulphurous internal fire!— — I try to do a little at writing; but with very bad success: I do not think there is yet a line that will stick to the paper—ah me, ah me!— We are very glad indeed to hear Phoebe is better. Good be with you all! Your affecte T. Carlyle