July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 26 October 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18581026-TC-JCA-01; CL 34: 226-227


Chelsea, 26 Octr, 1858—

Dear Jean,

In great haste I send you today 1/6 worth of Stamps for the Carriage of that Book: a clear debt whh I have felt lying on me for some time. The charges of Carriage were all strictly ordered to be franked;—and the blockheads1 entrusted have managed that like the other parts of “the sending” whh they took in hand. To Germany, the distance of whh is hardly four days, I have no reason to understand that one of the Copies has yet got, tho' despatched a month ago: inquiring into the Canada Pair of Copies, I found they had been sent by some “Parcels Company” (of uncertain speed and punctuality), at the easy rate of 23/6 for the two,—the charge by post being all the while abt 8 / or 10 /!— In short I am quite in a passion with the blockheads,—and will not say another word upon them.

Last Saturday night your James was again here; looks quietly well; by every appearance, doing well, and taking root in his new place.2 He was about seeking out some Lodging of his own,—in better air, higher up, about 1½ mile from his Office, for the sake of exercise daily. Islington quarter hits all these conditions; and there he had heard of something likely;—will, no doubt, succeed after a little search.

Jane keeps up her heart wonderfully; very much improved by her Scotch trip: I only fear the coming winter colds;—but she must of course take every precaution. Her Cousin,3 the young man whom you heard me speak of to Miss Welsh,4 seems clearly (to us) to be affected in the lungs; and we are very anxious to see him off to Madeira, in time; which indeed is too probably a terribly indispensable matter to the good young man! He is very clever in his sphere,5 and very honest; evidently rising in esteem with those about him: but this is a sad item in his outfit for the world.

Of the Doctor I by no means see so much as I want: I believe he does not like to bother me with his Watts &c; were the eldest lad6 fairly off on a “new voyage” (say in a month hence) he will probably be more accessible to me.

I know not whether you are in Moffat7 at prest, or returned, or only still going: I fancy a week of that kind will do you good in various ways.

Enough, dear Sister: I must end as usual

Your affecte Brother /

T. Carlyle