October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 20 May 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460520-TC-JAC-01; CL 20: 195-196


Chelsea, Wednesday, 20 May 1846—

My dear Brother,

Yesterday I got the American Letter, which I was very glad of, and sent off instantly to Dumfries; a day or two before, I had got your other Letter: I am always much obliged to you for the shortest line you can afford me, of news from Scotsbrig and yourself. Little Tom's American Letter was very good:—I found nothing questionable in the news at large, except that notice of the foundered or otherwise spoiled “horses,” a sort of ware poor Alick has too much dealt in from of old! If he be short up for money, poor fellow, it would be very well done to furnish him with a little more, to avoid such necessities: and I should be very happy to do it, could one find a good way,—and be certain that it would not do more ill than good. I think he is certainly in a better way yonder than we have ever before known him in.

This morning came the inclosed Letter, which I judge to be from George Johnston;1 the old hand used to be familiar to me.— About an hour ago too, as you must tell my Mother, our huge Bacon-ham arrived in full size! A most effectual-looking article: price of the carriage 4/11, net; which seems very cheap conveyance. Tomorrow morning, if all go well, we will try what quality it is of; and report accordingly before long. Our good Mother! You must thank her in the mean time; and say how precious any gift of hers is to us. If the value of gifts be that they are symbols of a generous affection, then no gift can be so valuable. Bid her take good care not to fall ill again; and say I will write soon.— Let me not forget again to mention something else: Your trunk came duly the very day after you went, and is here safe and sound;—what a stupidity never to have told you till now!

We have very wet clashy weather; the change from bitter dry north-east to more genial south-west,—which latter we hope will now be permanent. I take a ride pretty duly: but Jane gets out a light open vehicle from the stable of the Nodes people, ‘two days in the week,’ and takes me driving with her; that now is one of the chief benefits of this horse. He goes extremely well; and is better worth his great expense to me so.— At the end of the season, one can sell him?

The Printers have never yet quite done with Cromwell: this week I think will nearly end it, and so relieve me of a very ugly burble of business. I have little more to do with it but Proofs when they arrive. For some time I have been busy in much the same way otherwise, revising those old Books of mine, Heroes, Sartor &c for the Yankees, and some of them for both Yankees and English. I am now in the F. Revolution; shall have done with it this week. The Miscellanies is about ready.—

Cochrane still tells me, “Many people inquire” after you. I find you are not well,—bothered I suppose as to what shall next be done. Did you never think of a Country-house and Farm?2 Alas, no man can help another,—it is a very sad truth! I hope to hear better news from you, however, before long.— We have to go to the Wedgwoods tonight: Helps has just come in; waits till I end. Remember me affectionately to Jamie and Isabella; help poor Jenny what you can;—and take care of my Mother! Jane is gone out.——

Ever yours /

T. Carlyle