January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JOHN RUSKIN ; 19 April 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590419-TC-JRU-01; CL 35: 79-80


Chelsea, 19 April, 1859

Dear Ruskin,

We are in great misery here: my poor Wife, after escaping all winter, has fallen into the worst Cold I have ever seen her have; and suffers very much; weak too as an infant,—tho', I strive to flatter myself, not growing worse, but contrariwise. I caught a Cold on the same occasion (late paroxysm of july-december weather),—or rather renewed a cold I have always obscurely had since a “bathe in the Baltic” last autumn:1 but I try to keep it at the staff's end, and do not hitherto allow it to interfere with business. Absolute silence being the rule here just now.— I will come riding out to Denmark Hill,2 on Thursday (day after tomorrow): and call you over the coals3 for half an hour, if you will be at home. Near 5 p.m;—no, let us say “4.20 or so,” and be away before 5 again. Don't write, unless you have something to object.

That hovering about, and circling among the eddies, is not a pleasant process; but you will (to your astonishment perhaps) have various bouts of that kind in your wide voyage; and they are not unsalutary, still less can be dispensed with, tho’ so disagreeable to the natural man4

If the Natural Man is totally at a loss for a career, let him read with attention this American Letter whh came this morning;—surely that opens a career talem qualem [of whatever kind]! As the Letter is & not to be answered, you can burn it for the poor young Lady's5 sake.

Yours always /

T. Carlyle6