The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 25 June 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410625-TC-AC-01; CL 13: 160-161


Chelsea, Friday 25 june, 1841—

Dear Alick,

Your Letter came punctually last night: thanks for your punctuality; for all the trouble you are taking about me. You and Jamie would be wearied enough before 11 at night that Tuesday,—and the business not to be finished after all!

It seems, however, already certain that we are to undertake this same Newington adventure, prove as it may; I infer from your Letter that you would take the house, last night, from Carruther's even at his own rent; that the only question undecided was as to certain additional pounds of expense. That was right; and according to the spirit of the directions I gave you. The expense indeed is greater than I anticipated; for, foolishly, I had supposed that as the first rent of the place, park and all, seemed to be £26, the half of it all would be some £13!— However, we must rush forward now, I fancy; and go thro' with it, not counting costs too strictly. If I can get a little clear health and composure back again, it will be a cheap purchase at any price I have money to pay.

Nelson's neglect to write is a thing I cannot complain of, for the whole office was one of charity on his part; but it does really seem astonishing. One word would have been so easily written, any time these three weeks!— Well, we do not yet know Ewart's furniture; we must go forward, without knowing it then. The shape of the House, number of rooms, whether there are stables &c &c: all this is unfortunately quite dark to me. I can accordingly give you no advice about the little Park: probably it is not necessary to decide that, all at once, or till I myself am there; you in the meanwhile can consider how a horse can best be kept, whether on hard old hay (and what the price of that is),—and do what undelayable thing may arise in the wisest way you can. I should like right well to have riding too: but that along with gigging, I suppose, is impossible. I wish I had my sleek black mare back again;1 which I sold, last year, saddle and all for £17!

We expect to hear from you again tomorrow evening, as to the result of Thursday. Meanwhile we both take for almost as good as certain that we are to come; and so shall begin to bestir ourselves without delay. Do not fail to write! One word can be written; and a single penny will carry it as on the wings of the wind.

On the whole, it seems agreed between us here, that we shall get no sense of the real figure of affairs till one of us be on the spot. Jane and her maid,2 accordingly, are to remain here, ready for all sorts of packing and sorting; while I forthwith depart for Annandale, and tell them what to pack and sort. Your Letter of tomorrow evening can, of course, still give me pause; but I do not think it will. I have some small things to settle; and then—off! It is likeliest, if the weather grow hot, especially,—that I may come by sea and Newcastle: I want to lose no time now, and shall try to be off next week!— Ah me, my dear Brother, it is a terrible confusion for me, all this; but I cannot help it; I must do it. May it answer well!

Jack has not been here since Sunday. Jane was sickly for a week; but brightens up again. She is hearty for Newington; nay heartier than I, now that it comes to the actual push.

Not a word more. My dear Mother hears what we are doing; with pleasure, I doubt not. Good be with you all!

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle