August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 1 May 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580501-TC-JAC-01; CL 33: 214-215


Chelsea, 1 May, 1858—

My dear Brother,

A short word will be welcomer to you than none at all. Your Scotsbrig Letter came yesterday, as the former Edinburgh one had done in its due time: I am glad to conceive you again among the peaceable native scenes, after this little excursion, which will give you a new relish for them.1 One does get lazy, as you say, Time laying new and ever new loads on one's back; one has less and less of a motive too for stirring from the spot. I too feel the old universal Law getting very valid upon me!—

Jane, I am glad to tell you, is getting out of her peculiar difficulties. She stirs up and down, walks a little out of doors, almost daily,—avoiding only the palpably bad days;—and is coming on, steadily as the summer, I hope. Monday next, we are to go out to Addiscombe;2 till monday following; nobody to be there, &c &c, very rational terms; and we calculate it may do us both good; her especially, to whom the sight of green grass is a novelty and charm. I will get her a close vehicle; I am to ride out, taking my horse with me, who ought to be an inseparable companion.

Yesterday the Printers got their last lot of Copy (only a sheet or two left here, for bothering adjustments,—especially abridgements, if such were possible): within the month,— after bother and dreary fidgetting enough to me in the interim,—they will almost certainly have done! Truly I am quite worn out; not so much feeling any specific illness, as utter lassitude, want of heart, extreme excitability &c &c. I am grown a good deal whiter on the temples since you saw me. I have not the least satisfaction in this Book, except thankfulness that I have honestly done with it so far. A rest, and a good long one, is very desirable for me.

I in general have dreamed vaguely of a couple of months, alternating between Scotsbrig and the Gill; horse daily, milk & meal in abundance, peace & silence &c &c: but there is nothing fixed; still less have I applied either to Isabella or Mary3 on the subject. In yr last Note there is something of an Arthur4 coming to Scotsbrig;—whh let me in no wise prevent in the vague state of my affairs. After that two months, Jane had a notion to go up into Nithsdale (to a kind of Cousin she has, Widow of a Dr Pringle dead lately; rich & solitary at Landhall5); if I liked to go with her? Or I might have a run into Germany, and see “Friedh's Battlefields”: in short, nothing is fixed.— My kind love to Jamie & everybody. God bless you all T. Carlyle

Mrs Jackson came one evg with her Boy; a curious resonance from Annan;6 somewhat of snobbish character, tho' gutmüthig [goodhearted] & interesting to one's memory.