The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 28 September 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410928-TC-JAC-01; CL 13: 265-266


Chelsea, 28 Septr, 1841—

My dear Brother,

We did not give you up on Saturday, nor even on Sunday: on Sunday, about two o'clock, I got myself equipped, and fared forth with an umbrella, thro' numerous showers (sheltering myself in doorways during the chief paroxysms) all the way to Berners Street; where I learned that you were gone, the day before. I had left word here that you were to dine with us; but it was, of course, over, then! The London Streets had a curious physiognomy that day while the rain fell. We had nothing for it but Books, in the evening; no Jack there! Craik indeed came in; with a steady light, but with no radiance in the train of him.

I sleep a very great deal since my return, and as yet, unluckily, that is almost all I do. Daily one meets some new face on the Street; but it is not in these that help can lie for me. I have a feeling that solitude, and private reflexion, will alone be wholesome for me. Taisons [Let us keep quiet]— John Sterling is said to be coming up soon. I met W. Cunningham the other day, who told me so; and also that he himself, by aid of his Wife, had realized a little daughter.1 Cunningham looked thin, but perhaps healthier than last time we had met. Darwin has been twice here; but I have missed him both times,—only seen him once, in the distance, in his own street. On Sunday, after missing you, I was too dispirited and dull to call there.——— Your Lafarge Memoirs give great satisfaction to the female mind;2 I have not yet got any of them read: the new Courrier de l'Europe &c arrived yesterday;3 Mazzini has snatched off the first Supplement, but probably brings it back even now, for I think I hear him down below at this moment.

Last night came the enclosed Letter from poor little Jenny. I like the tone of it well, and also the news it brings. I will write to the poor Lassie, and do you write when you have any good moment.

Had one money enough, Brighton were now almost as near as Bayswater was! The Berners-Hôtel waiter thought it “very likely indeed that the gentlemen would come back:” I heartily hope it may be so.

The rain is all but perpetual here; one dare not go out except fortified with an umbrella. I am surprised, by Jenny's Letter, to hear of good weather in Annandale; and fear it cannot last. The wet South pours out continual showers on us. I am getting cloth blinds for my three windows here to shut out altogether the landscape, or rather brickscape and rubbishscape of Chelsea and its doings. I am myself my own salvation or perdition.4

Does any of you know that Belfast Lady; Authoress of a rather notable little Book which has arrived here? She seems to be a connexion or kinswoman of the tall French Marshal Macdonald; prints at Bristol, dates occasionally from Liverpool, and seems to be a wayfaring character.5

Enough, dear Brother. I must out now, in spite of the rain,—and sum up the futile strenuosities of the morning as I but may. Endeavour often, thou wilt at last succeed better!

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle