October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 2 July 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570702-TC-JAC-01; CL 32: 169-170


Chelsea, 2 july, 1857—

Dear Brother,

There is nothing momentous going on here at present; any way, nothing wrong, but all rather pointing in the contrary direction. We have got a complete wetting of rain yesterday, which has cooled and darkened the exuberantly grand and hot weathers into a grey and almost cold condition,—bringing us to our flannel shirts again for a day or two. I myself am busy incessantly according to my weak ability, getting that bad Book1 fairly into Robson's hand, and his machinery set rolling upon. Such a work for fikings and adjustments as you could not imagine! About perhaps 3 sheets are in type, and at last even are corrected; but nothing has yet come to me in the final form; indeed Chap 1 (whh lags a good deal behind the rest) is only ready this day to go out of my hands, as “corrected slips.” Heigho! But I must push along,—not too hard either,—and work incessantly towards deliverance: every line that is printed is like a pennyweight fairly off one's back; and the day is looked for when it will all be off!— I go out nowhither, speak to almost nobody; dine now about 4 p.m, and go riding at 5 (“quarter to 5”) with the regularity of a machine. I must have already ridden between 2 and 3,000 miles since first starting on this occasion! My general feeling is that my health rather mends: I have not that permanent nausea that has long dwelt in my inner man,—or at least have it in a diminished degree;—the liver, I judge, must be slowly coming round.

Jane continues to stir about according to faculty; but is really very weak. Encouraged by me in the enterprise, she is at last about setting off for Scotland;—goes next week, some day, for Sunny Bank, where the good old Donaldsons are very urgent; she may be alone there for perhaps a 3 weeks; after that in various other places, till the hot weather pass, or she have a notion to return. I am like to be extremely solitary, “owl in desart"2 not more so; but I hoped the poor soul might get much benefit, and so urged her.

Craik is here; back from Paris; going to be married again, they say, in the course of months.3 He is full of health apparently, tho' grown all white as snow. A healthy brother mortal really; I have seen him only once. Blackie and wife were here,4 whom I did not see at all, Jane having done it. Ditto ditto Mrs Stirling (your little Boy's Hostess):5 all these are off for Heidelberg or some such place. Neuberg is in Germy,—on trading business;—due here again soon, I believe. There is a really pleasant article by him, in the new Westr,6 whh I send today. The Fraser is first for Jean in this case.— Donne7 is about leaving (or perhaps has left) the Library, for no reason known; and they have elected another, “Harrison” (I think), from Leeds8—would not have Jones, as I and some others recommended; upon whh I looked no more near them, nor thot of their “election,” since. If Harrison be “a Bibliograper,"9 he will astonish me!

—Adieu, dear Brother. Kind regards to Jamie and everybody. I will wrap up your Review and go out. Yours ever,

T. Carlyle