August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 7 January 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580107-TC-JAC-01; CL 33: 149-150


Chelsea, 7 jany, 1858—

My dear Brother,

I hope Tait sent you the Ruskin1 the day after you first expected it. The four stamps were superfluous,—not intended to carry it that way, but perhaps this way in the course of months when you were quite tired of it. You may keep it about you now till there is (if ever) clearly a franco [cost-free] opportunity of returning it; & that will make matters straight in that small particular.— If you send the Fraser to Jean, better rip out a handful of the advertisements, & save your twopence.

We have got frost at last with a witness! I have not felt such cold in weather for a long while as yesterday: hard as iron; grey and with a strong east wind too. Jane suffers nothing from it yet; let us hope she may get hardened: she is out walking when I went last down stairs;—walk vigorously (whh, alas, she cannot do) under the due wrappages, it is pleasant enough winter weather,—especially today when the wind is quite down. Yesterday you wd have laughed to see me set out riding on the edge of dusk: I had resolved not to ride, so tempestuously cold was it; but when the horse came, and the roads were reported good, I cd not but try. I took my cape buttoned to the neck; and under it—an immense heavy brown dressing-gown I have (capable of passing for an old fashioned topcoat, down to the heels): and in that guise, I took the galloping all out of my horse (temperature supportable even in the wind), and brought him straight home again. Today I mean a rest for him: and in a week hence, I hope to be rid of him altogether for 2 months,—to go “in a close paddock” at The Grange till the days lengthen and the furious weather go. It is an absolute slavery to ride, at my hours, in this season of the year: and the horse's joints, toes &c, it is supposed may improve, not to speak of me & my finances at all.— We go to The Grange, Jane & I tuesday next for one week (12th—19th jany); a very melancholy visit,—but not to be avoided with comfort either. Alas, alas!— — We are to be there then, thro' the time I mention; I take my horse down with me; ride it while there, and so leave it till times mend for riding.

Scott2 was here, monday night last; has been Xmas-holidaying with the Wedgwoods.3 Wife4 was with him here; item Ballantyne & Neuberg,5—the whole Party was volunteer; not unpleasant for a party! Scott looks older, more fixed, and better; College at Manchr not a success; and he hopes to get away from it to London again.6— — Same evg arrived that Letter from Canada: poor John, poor Nephew!7 I wish you wd write Br John a Letter; tell him the news; say, for me, to the Nephew how busy I am &c. No more today, dear Brother.— My affectionate regards to Jamie & the rest at this season.

Ever yours / T. Carlyle