July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 28 December 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18581228-TC-JAC-01; CL 34: 255-256


Chelsea, 28 decr 1858—

My dear Brother,

I have had one or two little Notes since you got to Scotsbrig; for which I am much obliged. The sight of a friendly handwriting is welcome in my present loneliness.—— I am not worse in health than when you left me, nor is Jane: I ride, like a ghost in the chill dusk, from half past 3, with extreme regularity; I am, for all reasons, bound to keep up my poor stock of health; below a certain pitch I can absolutely do no work at all of the kind I am now in. Alas, and I am in danger of sinking ever deeper into misery, because, with my prest equipment in the way of pepticity and clearness of nerves, I can get almost no work out of myself:—but that would be a very Irish manner of proceeding! Nothing for it, in short, but to hold one's peace, try one's best, and ride like a ghost in the chill dusk.

Poor Wm Conyngham1 called yesterday; looking infinitely worse than any of us, indeed one of the miserablest of men. Has lost his only daughter lately;2 was like to go out of mind for grief, and is now grown so weak with dyspepsia, he “is sure he has his death upon him.” I was heartily sorry for the unfortunate moral3; advised him strongly to get off to Malta or some whither,—whh I think he will do, and probably get out of this sad plunge again.

I shd have told you abt the Bank Cheque inclosed, whh doubtless you are guessing about all this while! It is (in substance) for poor Sister Jenny in Canada4 (and you need say nothing of it): I think you said there was some way the Scotch Bankers had of giving one a Draught available at once in Hamilton. Will you, in pity to the tumble of busss I am in, and my ignorance abt such things, get this £10 converted into such a Document (date 1 jany 1859), and return it when complete, that I may despatch & have done with it.

I send many brotherly regards to Jamie & Isabella; and wish (if the heartiest wishes availed anything) a right “happy new-year” to you and to all of them!— Your affecte Brother T. Carlyle