April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 12 October 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18441012-TC-JAC-01; CL 18: 236-237


Chelsea, 12 Octr, 1844—

My dear Brother,

I have no time to write today; but I must acknowledge your Letter, which was very welcome to me; and say a word to satisfy our Mother that all is well with us here.

I have been a little busier of late, tho' I still need constant spurring of myself to stand up to this ugly toil. I have got the greater part of Cromwell's Letters put on paper; the commentary of one often costs me a long week of rummaging: I have the Speeches still to do.1 My notion at present is to send out that as a Book before long, let what will follow.2 I am also in real treaty about hiring a Copyist for six months! Nickisson is aiding me towards one who he thinks will suit. I find I ought to have that Ms. of D'Ewes; I think of making a preliminary volume from it too.— Yesterday I was at the Museum, seeking out the truth of a Statement by Whitlocke about ‘Captain Cromwell,’ Harrison's Captain, being killed at Appleby; the Ass Noble is clear that this was Oliver's son Oliver, or Philip:3 I discovered that Captain Cromwell was not killed at all, but only his lieutenant there! And so the whole matter is at sea again, and mere darkness visible!— One of the chief necessities is to know where to stop in such cases, and say, It is enough, it shall be enough.

Alfred Tennyson came to us the other day about 2; staid till near 11 at night: good company; but I got an ugly headache by the job, and still have it.— We had seen the Paulets of Seaforth, on their return home from France, about a week ago; rather wearisome he; very bright and agreeable she. The Bullers and Barings are away towards Nice; Jane heard from Bölte the other day from Chalons sur Soane; there was to be a general rendezvous of the scattered fragments at Lyon. Thomas Erskine and his Sister are likewise gone in that direction; intending for Rome.4 Darwin has got a new house: in Park Street, somewhere about Stanhope Gate; a very small bad house, Jane says, for £ 100 a year: he describes himself as driven out of Marlbro' Street “by barrel-organs”; he is to go in about a month,—he returned to Town from Shrewsbury two weeks ago or less. Craik does not seem to believe in Carson's Candidateship, thinks you must have meant one Piper, a subordinate of Carson's;5 has still good hopes; but the business is not to be decided for this College-session, or he knows not when. These are our news, our no-news.

You did right, I should think, not to concern yourself with Dumfries Asylum except on cause shewn. I was much obliged by your Annandale bulletins; especially about our good Mother's state of health. I still hope you will put her on some slightly improved system,—as to clothing, as to regimen &c. Tell her I will send her a Letter soon; we have been very silent of late. Thank her for the butter,—which is nearly all eaten: that is as little as one can do! Has Jamie held his Kirn [end-of-harvest celebration]? I am very glad to hear of his crops. An ugly mass of duds, old clothes &c ought to go off to Scotsbrig next week, but one always fails to get them packed. It is Jane's blame rather than mine! Adieu dear Brother

T. C.