The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 9 December 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531209-TC-JAC-01; CL 28: 336-337


The Grange, 9 decr 1853

My dear Brother,

I have received both yr Letters; which threw me into such a mood as you can fancy, and kept me indeed very miserable and agitated, till yesterday morning Jean's Letter (which I opened almost trembling) gave me some little relief again. Alas, alas, we may be certain what is coming, what is to all appearance near at hand; and we ought to be prepared for it: but this general misarrangement of all my outer and inner affairs, and so many mean sorrows and confusions lying in entanglement around that great one, are very perverse, and do load me heavily just now. Jean explains to me how you also are sadly hurried about, and have lost the neighbour and patient you last mentioned to me. She herself also, one can conceive, has sad thoughts and a difficult task:—and our dear old Mother, oh me, oh me!—

I live much alone here; which in some measure helps the incoherency of my situation. I have a huge room, well lighted warmed, and generally perfectly silent without and within; here I stay till about 3; then ride, also in solitude, till dark: no “work” has hitherto come out of all that; but it is a welcome refuge to be alone. Poor Jane was with me yesterday almost all day, lying on the sofa &c; having knocked her brow against a corner of the mantelpiece, and flurried her nerves as well as wounded herself. She is now out, along with the rest, not complaining,—but had in fact no sleep till towards six this morning: poor soul! I too am in very ill case hitherto with my diet, sleep &c here; which, till it be got under order, aggravates one's sadness of humour.— As to our company, it is nothing. The Taylors the Brookfields (friendly both, with the latter on the mule side of the house),1 these are the stock article, and the evening with these is sometimes spent in reading, and is at all times pacific enough. Today we have one Ld Carnarvon, Times Lowe (and Official albino of some talent) and his Wife,2—who, I suppose, will soon go again.— When I cannot actually write, I (invert now) have something by me to read, of a not quite worthless nature. I have an immense Conservatory temperature 50$DE to smoke in, and the weather is altogether bright for these 3 days,—a great improvement (other paper now)