The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 31 December 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531231-TC-JAC-01; CL 28: 370-371


Scotsbrig, 31 decr, 1853

My dear Brother,

I have just read your Letter; and am to answer, on the part of Jamie, that he will immediately attend to studying the execution of your culinary and other commands, and let you know when he sends the things or any of them.

On my own score I purposed to write you a word. This morning as I lay awake, thinking about many things, it struck me that perhaps the sending of that Book to Erskine with that inscription was questionable altogether,—might have a touch of ostentation, which was very far from my purpose?—at any rate that you wd have to write a short Note to him, explaining how it was a Gift, and I could not bear to carry it back. Also to pay the carriage, and send me note of it.— Or if you liked any better to cut out that fly-leaf of the Book, and make some other more appropriate-looking use of it, or above all, to keep it for yourself,—that surely wd be very welcome to me. Only please do so without consulting me; and only let me know the result when it is done. I decided, after all, to send Mrs Johnston's Book, only writing a line or two of Note to explain. Decide, yourself, and perform.

There did come a Letter from Jane last night; belated by some neglect or other: all is still well enough. I am appointed to go by the 11¼ train on Monday.

Jean and Mary have just got away; I walked forward with Jean to near the end of Middlebie; I put her in there, and took rather sad farewell (1¾ p.m.). All was settled completely well; finished off to universal consent last night. Jean leaves the Picture to Isabella; got £4 for the Drawers, 10/6 for the mirror; owns the Clock (which is left here), and the 4 Prints of which she means to take 1 and leave 3.— Everything was done in brotherly peace, & as was desired by you and me.

You will have a great vacuum in your days for some time to come. The best news I cd hear of you I shd reckon to be the recommenct of your Dante: a worthy work still left you. From Chelsea I will write. I bid you now many grateful farewells,—grateful for many reasons of common interest to us, and for your patience and goodness to my poor self withal. Farewell, & God's blessing on you, dear Brother, with kind regards to Phoebe: Yours ever affectionately T. Carlyle