1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 23 April 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550423-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 294-296


Chelsea, 23 April, 1855–

My dear Brother,

We are very glad indeed to hear that you have got done with your operation, so soon, and under such favourable auspices. It was more than could have been expected! I trust all still continues favourable; and that, in short, you will be well out the affair before many days pass.

But you must not be in too much hurry! I should think “Wednesday” looks an unusually brief date: Syme and you, I will hope and believe, have not forgotten the speed there is occasionally in “hastening slowly” (festinate lente)! As indeed I have no doubt you have; which makes me all the gladder at the result.

Our weather here too is fiercely cold: nothing but inhospitable East wind, ever since you went away; East-wind sometimes (as yesterday, Sunday) extremely violent; and, in spite of the bright sun, very cold in exposed quarters. We have got done with our “Emperor”; thank Heaven, he took himself away again before the week ended: never was such a blaze of enthusiastic reception &c (says rumour, which I for my own share cannot confirm or decisively contradict); royal children all weeping when the soi-disant [so-called] “august pair” took themselves away again &c &c—à la bonne heure [well and good].

Neuberg, Fitzgerald and Spedding were here last night, to whom added herself Miss Jewsbury: very confusing, uninstructive,—much inferior to a Book on Fredk Wilhelm which I have got here. Thackeray (stupidest Thackeray) on Pitt1 I have got done with; but keep it still here, for certain references. On Saturday I received a German Book (new one on the “Kartoffekrieg,”2 or Bavarian War of 1778 by Fritz,— by one Schöning,3 which I did not much want) sent specially by the fair order of the Duchess of Weimar: “a distinguished woman, Sir;—and has all the crotchets of her sex, as well as the virtues and graces!” said poor Marshall to me, in a low diplomatic tone.

Yesterday I came athwart Willm Strachey: it appears his Brother Edward has just lost his Wife at Clifton;—poor soul, it will be hard for him.4. She died of a kind of consumption, Wm said; and not unexpectedly, tho' I had heard no intimation of it before.

Give my brotherly remembrances to Jamie and all the Scotsbrig household: better rest yourself well there before undertaking the long rail journey again. I hope you will bring me good accounts of everything, yourself included. Will you see Jean at all? Or Mary?

Ever your affecte Brother

T. Carlyle

Send me back Sterling's letter “from the seat of war,”5 as soon as you can. It is worth reading, tho' it will need patience and your best spectacles. His other big bundle of “Official correspondence” I have not yet attempted.6