1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 5 September 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540905-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 142-143


Chelsea, 5 Septr, 1854—

Dear Brother,

There came a Letter for you this morning; which, having to go out to look over certain old Ambassador-Papers (in Lord de Grey's, St James's Square), I put in my pocket; intending, when I should have finished, to carry it over to the Athenaeum, and there add a word before despatching it. Unluckily the clock struck five while I was still among my old Papers; I ran to the Club, could hardly find a Pen there, and had to despatch your Letter with merely a stamp stuck on it.— This will explain the bare state it was in.

Your Note to me with the two inclosed came yesternight; delivered me by Piper as I went out after dinner. I am very glad you are getting quieted down in that retirement after so sad an excitation; and are all doing well there.1 You will need much serious reflexion; and many things will rise on you more clearly the better you are left alone with yourself.— As for me, I must not think of the Country this year; all travelling and changing is quite formidable and forbidden to me.

Last night I walked out to the Brompton Cemetery;2 the sun just setting when I got to the place. All is still and smooth there; hushed up into eternal rest. I sat down on the stone near by, for a little while, and thought painfully of many things.

Jane got all her “sheets” &c she says,3—wishes she could get much else that has gone from her on this sad occasion! Two nights ago she was taken not ill, but threatened with illness; I sat with her for an hour till improvement appeared;—she burst into a passion of tears, thinking of all that sad avalanche of death. She is very weak ever since,—but I suppose gathering herself again, in spite of the unfavourable climate & time. Our kindest regards to the poor little Boys.4

Your affectionate Brother /

T. Carlyle