August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JWC ; 11 August 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570811-TC-JWC-01; CL 33: 16-18


Chelsea, 11 Augt (Tuesday) 1857)

My poor weak Bairn, I am heartily concerned to hear of such tremors, and unmistakable sings1 of a bad and worst state of nerves! Endeavour all you can (that is not much, but it is something) to keep your poor little heart in a quieter condition: Oh dear, Oh dear!— Anne's sickness really never was of the slightest moment: I judged from the first what it was,—what it proved accordingly to be;—and never gave myself any great trouble about it; and was far from thinking to stir poor you into a quandary on the subject. Depend upon it, my accounts are real; and if there were the least thing essentially wrong, I wd intimate it immediately. Anne is perfectly well again; her Mother too;—she really goes on very well in her place here, bathes Nero every morning, feeds the Canaries with their green and other fodder; bakes excellt bread (is cooking me a chop today);—and I hope will have a good acct to render.

Yesternight I gallopped away to Wormwood Scrubs2 (a place far out Harrow-wards,3 tho' you don't go by that road); and went careering about on the respectable sward for some time. I had given my horse light work the day or two before. I was once at the place, with Fonblanque,4 a dozen years ago; never saw it again; and had forgotten where it was,—so that rediscovery was necessary. London, especially Nottinghill5 grand (vacant) suburb looked highly respectable from the ground; and in one corner was a big roof-on-pillars, where young Cockneydom was exercising in swings &c, much to its satisfaction. Industrious cows, and a few horses out of work occupied very sparsely the rest of the space. A grey silent Autumn evening; for which one blessed Heaven.

Tait is ‘toning’ &c;6 has brot a Nosegay to put in, not far from your sad Portrait.7 I think you will find still ‘toning’ at the time of yr return.—

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A Chelsea Interior by Robert Tait (detail)
Courtesy of the National Trust Photographic Library and Michael Boys


I am rather getting on, with my Printers, and also with writing ahead of them. Two blessed days (and over into this morning) I sat at Proofs; but they were got feasibly done at last: I finished out the “Book” (or section of a Subject); set to sorting rubbish aside; and mean now to have a day or two of holiday;—Letters to write &c &c; this is the first of all the Letters; next must be a word to John, to Jean: that will occupy what is left of today; then two to Berlin tomorrow &c &c. Piper is come back; Nero gets his full measure of running again; the wretch is snoring on the sofa up here, at this moment.

Larkin was here half-an-hour ago; he is amazingly useful, and willing as possible. I always forgot: Lushington went to Edinr the day after you; called that very evg while we were at King's Cross,—wrote regretting that he had not known to go with you, & so on. And here is Farie, you see! Off with a spring at last.— We shall now be a day nearer in the way of Post; that is good. Take care of thy little self; and God bless thee ever. T. Carlyle