1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 6 March 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540306-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 42-43


London, 6 March / 1854

My dear Brother,—I got both your Notes with many thanks for them; but have been hindered hitherto, by small causes, from writing. I send a hasty word today, lest you may think there is something wrong; whh there is not.— We have indeed very unwholesome weather,—today, for example, the frost is still hanging over us in the form of pestilential sooty fog, and I am here burning daylight (cannot see at all otherwise) as in the worst days of Novr; not to say that my fingers, in spite of the swift walk from Chelsea, are half-numb as in winter frost! The weather has given poor Jane a cold, and has somewhat lamed me too; but that is all that can be reported out of joint.

I much wish, and partly hope, you may find Dienbie an eligible house: no steadiness of any kind is to be expected till once you are fairly fixed in that particular.1 I forgot always to say that if you did come up to London, looking for houses, or on any other errand, the room at Chelsea is now in perfect order,—and the whole house,—really a very good house, of its kind, tho' we have bought it dear.

Today I send a Newspaper whh has come to me this morning, with indication in it that W. Forster of Bradford's Father, the good Quaker, is dead; rather suddenly, it seems, in Tennessee, in the American West.2 Fr sent no other word or notice. Poor fellow, he will naturally be very sad at the news.

Anthony Sterling has decided to go and fight the Russians! After long wavering speculating and soliciting, he is at length accepted by the Horse Guards; is to go as Brigade Major (which he virtually was in the Ionian Islands3) to a Genl Colin Campbell who is his cousin.4 He professes to have little hope of fighting, expects rather to die of dysentery (about Varna,5 I think) somewhere in the Danubian-Bog Countries!6 He came down to us one night; gloomy as the Abyss, and spoke hardly anything: indeed he is not far from mad, and his Wife7 (they suppose) is again going to be so. Poor souls, he and she!— But perhaps he won't go yet after all?

Poor Martha Park, poor Robt!8 I expected nothing other from the accounts I heard. Safe return from Edinr to both of you.

Yours ever, dear Brother, / T. Carlyle