The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 17 December 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531217-TC-JCA-01; CL 28: 341-342


The Grange, 17 decr, 1853

My dear Sister,

I got your Letter duly; and it was a great relief to me indeed, the morning it came. I have heard nothing since, either from John or you; every morning I lie awake in alarm for what the man will bring me (he comes in at ½ past 8, with hot water &c, and brings what Letters there are): if he bring nothing, that is in general one of the welcomest results to me; for, except out of Scotsbrig, really most of the Letters I get are a real fash to me, and do me no good whatever, but only evil, bringing namely a certain quantity of trouble that I am to take, not for my own behoof at all but for some unknown person's, generally a fool's.— I meant to write to you yesterday; but on calculating, I found you could not get my Letter till Monday, so that Today (Saturday) wd be the proper time. It is 3 days now since I had any news of my poor dear old Mother,—whose weak low state, you may fancy, never leaves my thoughts at any time. Pray send me duly word of the actual state of matters; I often tell you, imagination is apt to be worse than reality, however bad that be. Alas, I cannot hope for good news just now! Give my heart's love to the dear and good old Mother: let her, and let us all, trust continually in One Higher than we. But write to me at any rate. Perhaps tomorrow something will come? Here everyday is a post day.

We had snow the other forenoon, after a most tempestuous night of N.E. wind: the country is all white ever since; and today there is a hard frost, very bright in the morning but now veiled into cold grey. I suppose that makes all little difference in my Mother's room, where you keep a good fire, and she is not strong enough to rise at all.

Our Party here comes and goes a little, tho' the Kernel (Taylors & Brookfields) remains: we are at present rather fewer than usual; the only difference in which case is, that we are apt to spend our evening in reading; whh