April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 6 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440706-TC-JAC-01; CL 18: 110-111


Chelsea, 6 july, 1844—

My dear Brother,

I should have written to you sooner; but I have been sadly tumbled about, I have also been in the blue-pill line &c! On Thursday the Courier came addressed in your hand, which taught me that you were at Dumfries one of those days: I do not precisely know where your address is at this present, but will venture on Dumfries as the likeliest. I shot off a small Note to my Mother the other day, which I hope would find her at Gill.

Jane continues in Liverpool at her Uncle's; seems pretty well: she is to shift to Seaforth ‘on Monday next,’ has the Chorleys within reach of her: I suppose in another ten days, we may be looking for her home again.— I make some little progress in Cromwell; not very much, but am always at it. I am getting the Letters up; I can work at that when at nothing else.

The Town is brashing [rushing] along with quality carriages yet, if one go up to it on an evening: I hope they will go about their business before long, and leave poor men to follow their affairs in more peace. Since Jane went away, I have been almost a hermit; speaking to no man, sometimes, for days. The Maurices are close at hand, if I wish to speak. Last week I was out at the Barings's Place for a day: Buller, Milnes, young England, and various Lordships and Ladyships too tedious to mention: I had an ugly bilious fit upon me, and got small good of the affair. Sir James Graham seems admitted to have fallen into one of his ugliest scrapes in this Letter Business: all men are hooting and howling at him,—really beyond measure, poor scoundrel.

No news of Robertson, except incidentally about ten days ago that he was then in Edinburgh, minded if I recollect, to continue for a while. They are all agog about their Burns Festival:1 I got an invitation yesterday, have written today to decline. Tomfoolery occurs of its own accord; one need not go so far to seek it. The miserable Wind-bags of this generation cannot reverence a man, can only get up ‘Festivals’ and spout froth about him.— Dickens is off to Genoa mit Weib und Kind [with wife and child]: good voyage to him.

Jean wrote not long since about Jenny's being unwell, you intimate that she is a degree better, or almost altogether better, tho' not yet well. I have been thinking ever since that her £5 of money is due some time since? Perfect regularity in that business would be a great increase of benefit. Perhaps you have already inquired into it; if not, pray do. Jean knows the times and conditions. I have even forgotten which of us it is that has now to pay,—but I think I settled that Martinmas and Whitsunday were to be the times, and paid at Martinmas. If so, whitsunday will be yours. Pray ask Jean, and then each of us will henceforth remember his day, and keep it.

Another pious service I will recommend to you: that of a residence for our Mother. She will have no house next Whitsunday, and some good arrangement for her ought to be fallen upon in that particular. Jamie can advise, and also Jean; and your own personal inspection of the lie of matters will be best of all. Of course whatsoever seems good to be resolved upon will have me for a grateful forwarder of it. The great point is to know what: the rest will require no discussion.

Write to me more at large about all Annandale matters. Those brief Notes do not encourage to a reply! Surely there is a whole encyclopedia of things to write about; there, if anywhere.— When you see Graham, my kind remembrances to him. You will go and see Stewart2 too.— Yesterday the Postman sent up a “Ship Letter”3 (from Arbuckle seemingly) which I was “to address”: I might as well have kept it for this cover. Today there came two others, mere catalogues evidently, which I flung aside.——— Wherever you be or go, you are safe in offering my affection to all & sundry.

Ever Yours /