August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JWC ; 19 August 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570819-TC-JWC-01; CL 33: 38-40


Chelsea, 19 Augt (Wedy) 1857

Letter has come (at 2, under the awning); and all is right, dear Goody, and as you wd have it,—both as to Nero, Anne & self, in spite of what Geraldine writes.1 Her calumny on Nero is shocking! The creature's skin is all whole, and his heart too; and it is certain I have not seen him so well any summer. Canaries singing audibly at this moment; two vegetables flourishing (watered by Anne, this morning, superfluously),—trimmed up by me, Sunday last, and very green indeed. That is the real report of things:—and as for myself, I am certainly not too well or comfortable, whatever else may be in excess with me! Nothing is wrong either substantially; but I am getting on ill with my new “Book,” in fact cannot begin it at all, such a tumble of Proofsheets has fallen on me,—and I lost my new scissors; fairly vanished 3 or 4 days ago upstairs, and they will lie so till you come and pick them out!— — I am now over the Proofs or nearly so; shall be, this night: and all will go tomorrow if I can manage it. Wrote to Lord An yesterday (a short note); sat all day, mainly down here, hunting in abstruse imbroglios of Books, with a touch of Proofs coming in to help;—winded up by a big walk with Nero thro' the streets, having spoken to nobody. A very serious man I am growing: La Trappe is not lonelier than my establisht here just now.

The Novel and also six or seven “perfect sheets” will wait for you at sunny Bank: Novel is good for little I doubt,—dedicated to me, I saw in the Examiner, whh drove me into glancing at it again;2—but it may amuse the old Ladies and you better than the average of Novels. The sheets, I conclude, will be more interesting:—but you must take good care of this lot, and bring them safe back; they are wanted here as a bit of an implement in what we are doing.3 Oh that one had the whole stock of them together; and the unspeakable horror of a job once honestly finished! Patience: inch by inch, if we stand to it, that also will come.

Can you ask somebody in Edinr, what is become of Charlotte Jeffrey (Empson)?4 I always now and then ask myself. The last waste leaf that yet hangs in the wind of a grove so green and flowery not so long ago. Ah me, ah me!— If you see any of Samuel Browne's people, you are authorized to say what a real esteem and interest I always had in that quarter.5— A certain hidebound, rather learned, artificially serious “Mr Lorimer, Advocate” has sent me a little Book; setting forth in its own way the Anti-democratic doctrine contained in a certain man's Pamphlets &c: not quite a bad Book; tho' a dim grey east-wind is prevalent in it.6 Tait, who knows everybody, says, it is a “son-in-law of John Stoddart's, against whom Mrs”—&c.7 I do not mean to write to him; nor need you speak at all, unless the chance quite offer.

Tom Wilson,8 bound for Weimar again directly I believe, has been sitting this last half hour, waiting (in the Parlour, windows open &c, and Tait gone)—to take leave of me! I must go. Eschew another Sunday like the last: yes!— God bless thee ever T. Carlyle