January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JAMES CARLYLE ; 29 July 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450729-TC-JC-01; CL 19: 115-117


Chelsea, 29 july, 1845—

Dear Jamie,

It is a long time since I sent you any specific account of myself, or heard any word from you: a failure which is not wholly my fault, but my misfortune rather; for I have never in my life been so busy as of late.

The night before last I had a short Note from the Dr, enclosing one from you at Scotsbrig, which as it were forces me to write at present. My Mother, it appears, is unwell; you say she is on the mending hand; and I will not allow myself to be uneasy: but you must write to me directly a little word, never so short, to tell me how she [is]1 and what is the matter. I suppose it may be the cold weather; which is as intemperate as I ever knew weather in July. I will keep hoping the best: but you must not neglect to send me a single line or two, whenever this gets to hand. You have much sickness with you this season, and doubtless many cares: poor Isabella, I am sorry always to learn, continues in a very painful state. Nothing can be done, it seems; there is nothing for it but patience and hope.

Jane went away from me on Tuesday gone a week. She is in her Uncle's house still; but is preparing to remove to a place of some Country friends near Liverpool,—a place called Seaforth, close by the shore, where I expect she will be more wholesomely lodged. Perhaps she will write to some of you one of these days. Her Uncle is for Scotland; goes to a place called Helenburgh near Greenock, with most of his family, on Thursday next. Jane thought of Scotland once; but dare not undertake it this season yet. She was in a weakish way, dispirited and sleepless often, when she left me: I urged her to go and try the country, which I think will do her good.

I have had three Books printing all at once in these late months: two of them are now done, the second of them (which is a new Edition of Past and Present) this very day; of the first (a new Edition of Schiller's Life) I sent two copies towards Scotsbrig, which I think may have arrived.2 The third Book, Cromwell, is not yet done,—a very dreigh [wearisome] Book which has cost me more toil, real ugly labour, than any Book I ever had to do with. There is still a piece of hard work lying in it: but I ply at it now, tooth and nail, and the daylight does begin to shine thro' it. The instant it is done, I am off towards Annandale as you know. I cannot yet set a day or a week; but it must end before we be much older: surely another three weeks will break the back of it now!— I am not so ill off in respect of health, as I hav[e]3 often been: I ride diligently every day; a biggish long-legged swift black horse, full of fire and action, tho' very good-natured: he can take a gallop of 15 or 20 miles, thro' the fine green regions hereabouts, and never mind it. He is a great burden to me, the obligation to ride him every day is; but also a great benefit, I believe. The weather is very cold and damp here; frequent showers, and northwinds: the people are struggling on with the fag-end of their hay yet; which is very late for them. I suppose you also are in your hay at present.— — Jack represents himself as prospering well at his Leamington Waters: as a Correspondent he is one of the very briefest!

The Town is getting emptier; fast emptying itself,—thank Heaven! There is not in the whole world such an uproar as London in the early part of summer. The Parliament is to be off very soon: the moor-game, so soon as it is ready, calls out all hands to shoot, and they leave their law-making alone;—unfortunate persons, I have ceased very much to disturb myself with them this way or that.

Now you will write, dear Jamie; and tell me punctually how my Mother is. As many things more as you like; but this any way! My blessings with you all

Your affectionate Brother

T. Carlyle