July-December 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 30


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 26 September 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550926-TC-JCA-01; CL 30: 75-76


Chelsea, 26 Septr, 1855—

My dear Sister,

You may be well sure it was a glad sight to us, that little Note of James's on Monday morning; one of the shortest and most important we have got, this long while! I am right thankful you have got thro' your sore task; I have written to Jack about the glad event; and now, I trust, a great anxiety is removed from both of us. James's second Note, of Tuesday, reports what a tedious sore business you had; but that now all goes on well, and trouble is turned into gladness. Let us be thankful, let us be quietly glad!—

I would have written yesterday, and had shaped out my time to that effect; but, at the wrong time, poor Chorley came in,—rather a stranger of late,—so I was obliged to delay; and then the post was gone. Perhaps it was just as well that I did not disturb you at all till after another day. Thank James very much, on my behalf, for writing so punctually. I will hope to hear from yourself in a little while; perhaps tomorrow, if you keep your purpose; but do not hurry or flurry yourself about such a thing,—only I shall now want soon to hear from one or other of you again (to keep down imaginations): one word will do.

I finished off my Addiscombe Affairs at the finish of the Week; and came home to my dinner on Sunday,—a quiet ride, my last in those parts for some time. All the roads are now vacant, especially on Sundays, in that and other regions, everybody and everything having taken to rail instead. I did not know that you had got happily thro', at that time of day, nor how ill you had been; among my many thoughts, vague and definite, that comfortable one could not yet belong to me.

I fancy I have got some real improvement by those three weeks of country solitude and riding: at all events, it was a fair trial I made; and there was nothing else so reasonably within my reach. I find my labours here lying, as I left them, in a most intricate, wrecked and impossible condition: I must take them heartily up, and see if I cannot make them “possible” a little! A small addition of health (if I have got that, as I hope) will be of first-rate consequence in that attempt. I keep my Horse still till the end of this week; riding diligently every afternoon 2 hours: at the end of the week, I surrender and take to my feet again. The Town is quite empty (never saw it emptier), weather now getting very sharp and east-windy. Take care of yourself dear Sister; and let me hear soon.

Your affectionate

T. Carlyle