January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 17 October 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18591017-TC-JCA-01; CL 35: 233


Chelsea, 17 Octr, 1859—

My dear Jean,

I shove violently aside abt 20 of the stupidest and ugliest volumes in creation; and regardless of a heap of paper-clippings and confusions, send you this briefest of accounts, merely to keep yr mind at ease.

Last Monday (this gone a week), I fairly opened shop again. I cannot say that I make shining progress,—very far from that, Heaven help me!—but I do make progress noticeable occasionally; I stand to it as faithfully as I can; and am certainly a good deal clearer in mind than when I last swept it away in summer past. My health is altogether, so far as I can judge, decidedly a shade better than when I left Chelsea;—I shd hope to improve considerably after all, were I once free of this unspeakable affair! Ah me, Ah me!—— The Horse, on which I saunter with intervals of gallop, regularly every day of the week but one, is now lodged close beside me (not 3 miles off), and get much help from, is in tolerable fettle; and I do hope the people are honest and will take care of him for me.

Jane herself, I must say, is hitherto perceptibly better also; thank Heaven!1 The last 3 days she has been below par (owing to sleep, as usual); but I hope it is only temporary; and that she is really a good deal more in a natural way than before. She is off to Richmond,2 I think, today; having determined (tho’ ill-slept to a degree) upon driving out into the air, in the absence of rain, which is so frequent upon us, in the shape of warm muddy showers of late.

This is really all I have to tell you, dear Sister; and the time is done, at any rate!— From Scotsbrig I hear nothing; am in Jack's debt withal: poor fellow, I doubt he has nothing definite to say abt his winter movements.

Write you to your Jim3 here to come and shew face,—sunday Evg or any time;—and save me that trouble. With kindest wishes to James the Elder & all your Household, Ever your affecte Brother. T. Carlyle4