January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 14 April 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590414-TC-JAC-01; CL 35: 76-78


Chelsea, 14 April, 1859—

My dear Brother,

I have despatched the Butler £1,000,1 in the way you recommended, or at least have it all sealed and ready for despatching; the “trouble” at last amounted to nothing, for the Bankers here did it all for me & sent the final Document by Post:—yet you have no conception what a hole in my own poor feckless peculiar operation such a slight business made. Alas the fabric of my efforts is of weak description at present; and needs only little to make a big hole in it!— More power to me!

The Ziethen Print is no doubt a fellow copy, with German title, of the one you saw here with a French: it was cheap enough in all conscience; and, tho’ not reckoned a good Chodowiecki,2 will deserve framing. On the rear or elsewhere there is, or shd be, a key to the figures; that is the chief use of mine to me (especially since I brot the key round to the front, and see everybody handily labelled):—if your key is lost any way, it may be worth your while to copy this of mine when you get near it again.

I cannot manage to find an Adelung, however I dun for it in Germy thro’ Neuberg and otherwise:3 I shall have to do witht that help too; I find many helps in that case for me:—make the utmost of what helps one has; there is no other refuge. I cannot describe to you how I long to be delivered from this sad task; or how small, amid the given conditions, my visible progress is! On the whole, however, I am in secret perhaps making progress: a mountain of dust ashes and cinders has all to be smelted by heat and fuel of one's own (for in every item it is chaotic incoherent); and the little bit of metal is a dreadful business to extract, in the circumstances I am in.

Poor Jane, I grieve to say, as the worst item of all, has broken down at last: in that outburst of almost july heat last week but one, she stripped too suddenly, gradually got into a bad cold (accumulated peccancies, I have perceived, were there at any rate); and for the last four days, sleepless, foodless, coughing, tormented somehow in the region of the heart, she has been as ill as I ever saw her. Not till this morning pretty late, cd I flatter myself with the least sign of improvet; but now I do strive to believe we are round the corner again. She has eaten a particle of white-fish (her one demand), and is lying quiet, with here and there a moment of sleep, whh is better than none.— I myself got a whiff of cold, on the same occasion; but it has not grown worse; a good ride yesterday (poor horse in galloping humour, over in Surrey) did it good.

I meant to ask you if Cressfield House Furnished was still to let;4—or if there were any such attainable for summer coming. I find I could, for a certain part of my work, pack the necessary Books in something like compendious shape; and write in the country. At all events to gather a little strength there wd be very furthersome both for self and partner. You know what we want; at least you & Jamie could make it all out, if you were together. “Horse-exercise (for both), abundt milk” &c.— Poor Jane cd not front much bother with servants; but this little Lass5 here wd accompany, & be excellt in her inside place. Alas, we are both of us less fit for bother; and a little stronger only on the money side! No more at prest. Turn that over & write abt it. Is Isabella better?6 Yours ever T. Carlyle