July-December 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 30


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 12 September 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550912-TC-JAC-01; CL 30: 62-64


Addiscombe Farm, Croydon / 12 Septr 1855—

My dear Brother,

The wind had risen here to a quite exorbitant pitch for two or three days about the time you sailed: so that I was in unusual appetite for a Note from you; and as none came on Saturday I felt a little disappointed; but had there none arrived on Monday I found I should have been seriously uneasy in my solitude. But Jane brought it out with her; thanks to you and to her I got that portion of my confusions all rightly settled. Next day (yesterday) I wrote to Jean, and also to Jamie, communicating the intelligence. I had fancied you did not expect to hear from me till you wrote again from Cöthen: but today I find on the mantel-piece a flying snip of paper, which teaches me otherwise. So I write before going out to ride.

I have been here since before you sailed. Finding myself so jumbled by the Suffolk week;1 and having both been invited out hither with new pressure, and got (willingly, as Neuberg was at Hastings) a loan of Neuberg's little excellt horse, I determined on tearing myself out hither, for a real spell of solitude. It was on Thursday, the night after you got to Edinr, that we came out, Jane by rail, I riding; Jane came, by express intention, “to set things agoing” for me here; then went home on Sunday following: she has been twice out since, but only stops for a night each time: so that I am as perfectly a Hermit as it is well possible to conceive in modern life. I ride between 2 and 3 hours daily; walk also generally twice; read a great deal, muse and mope do, smoke and saunter on the smooth lawns under those big leafy trees (with cushats audible in one of them: and thus nearly a fortnight has glided away, not quite without advantage to me, I will hope. The weather is utterly rainless, often of late nearly windless too (which my horse does not like so well), and bright with the pale splendour of autumn; roads, paths, green Heaths, lanes and even open or permeable fields offer everywhere the nicest solitary riding: I ought to be well content with my Hermitage at any rate. I think of holding on till about the end of next week, but have not yet set any day. Direct, you, always to Chelsea; that is the safest, and cannot cause beyond a few hours delay.

I shall be well pleased to hear of your being fairly moored at Coethen for a while. I hope you did not persist in keeping yourself apart from all old acquaintances at Berlin You surely sought out Abeken and others? If I had known you were at once bound thither, I might have sent a few messages. Innumerable things seem to lie hidden for me at Berlin! I do not see how I shall ever get my Book done to advantage witht going back:—and I cannot sleep in German beds, when I am there. Alas, I am very weak; that is the real truth of it.

You will go and see Rosbach, I think, at any rate: it is something to be upon the authenticated ground where a great action was done. This was one of the cunningest battles Fk ever fought: the French were never better beaten than by this petit Marquis de Brandebourg2 whom they came to do the honour of &c &c. But you must get a Tempelhof,3 or some good account with map and plan (if there is any other so good), and read it well before you go. If indeed yr mind carry you to go at all!— No doubt you will be for Weimar, if almost for any place. You have seen the “Hofrath Marshall,”4 have you not? A word written to him to say who you are will at once open everything: he is a very obliging and kind little man. Or if you want an express Note from me, say so.— Tom Wilson lives, I think, some miles out of Town; but of course is there daily. The Erbprinz, where we staid, seemed to be regarded as the eligible Hôtel.— I think I have not heard a word of news since you went;—perhaps a Note from Jean two days later than your last from her. “Malakof Tower” &c, if you care about, is in print.5— Adieu dear Brother. Yours ever T. Carlyle