October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 30 June 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460630-TC-JAC-01; CL 20: 217-219


Chelsea, 30 june 1846—

My dear Brother,

I should have written to you before now; at all events I might have taken an earlier hour of this day, which has been a very idle one with me, and it is now past nine at night:—however, I have decided not to make bad worse by neglecting my purpose altogether. [And] so here I sit, with Jane and the two candles removed up stairs, and will walk to the Post-Office with a word for you before I sleep.

The Horse, of the sale of which I spoke to you last time with uncertainty, came back to me next day unsold; and is now mine again, and is certainly to go Northward before I part with him. The Paulets, it appears, are in actual want of a horse; will be glad to receive this of mine, if I go thither; to Paulet's therefore I think this animal will go,—taking his passage in the railway most likely. As we have a good bit of the Summer still before us, and are not ill off for money at present, I like this settlement of the question well enough, and expect we shall still find a pennyworth in keeping a riding and vehiculating servant for our wants: but after the Summer is done, I shall desiderate being quit of my equestrian dignity, and do not think I shall soon venture on a riding apparatus for London again. The roads about this region, with so many railways &c, are getting ever more unpleasant for riding; for which too, I suppose, I am getting too old: at any rate the expense and trouble are in a very high proportion indeed to any benefit for health that one can trace in the affair. So much for the “settlement of the Horse.”

The Book Cromwell, as I told you last time, is out, and doing well; the Bookseller was here on Saturday, and paid me for it: so that this too is now all settled. Our other republications, Heroes and the Miscellanies are also gone to press; but about the latter we have still some haggling about prices to transact; in which however I expect the bibliopolic genius will have to yield to mine. I have said £400 for the Miscellanies, and I will make the man comply if I can. As I do not intend to trouble myself with proofsheets for either of these Books, we may consider this likewise as pretty nearly settled.— There remains some fraction of American matter to settle,— Christie is doing an Index for the F. Revn for one thing:—this once done, I am as it were free to quit London, and take m[y] holiday for a little when I like. Christie promises to be ready about Friday; after which another week might finish all that American concern, if I were very diligent at it. But in fact I am not diligent; I am as it were taking my holiday already, and indeed often think, in this fine caller [fresh] weather, I may be as well here as in another place. The day after I wrote (I think), we had our thunderstorm here too; change of wind to the west,—where it still continues, with occasional showers, very brisk and pleasant weather indeed.— — Poor Jane, however, has not been well, and the hot weather lies very hard upon us both: and now that I am go[t] fresh again, she still continues weakly; indeed within the last three days she has got a cold over and above, which however is now abating again. She had settled to set off to Pauletdom on Saturday first, and still talks of going, I to follow in a week or two: but it seems a little uncertain now whether all her punctuality of appointment will prevail for that day. As to my own departure I cannot yet speak of any day or even week (a blaze of hot weather would send me off at once): but I mean in general to go thither, so soon as my miscellany of small tagraggeries here are knit up into any kind of finish.— — This long story with little in it is all I can tell you about our plans or projects at present.

Peel, as you will have heard, is out; has retired in what is considered a very triumphant and promising manner. I and many others think he will probably come in again soon. Above a week ago, taking counsel about the thing, I decided on sending him a Copy of the Cromwell; which I did, along with the Letter here copied; and received the Answer which I also send you to read to my Mother: you can then return the Letters, or keep them safe till we meet.1 It was on the whole a successful adventure this; well received by the “Governor of England”; and expressive of a feeling sincerely enough entertained in my own mind:—all right, therefore, this too.— Today there came all in all in a [word missing] four Yankee Newspapers (Albany, New York) with a wonderful Controversy about me,2— which Jane magnanimously declines to read a word of, really not unwisely I believe: tomorrow or next day I will clip out the passages, and send them for the benefit of Scotsbrig I think. “Di' tha naither ill na' guid.”

I wrote a bit Letter to Jenny, poor little Jenny: I think she will do better in Dumfries; one feels a true sympathy with her in her poor little hadding [dwelling] yonder. This weather, I think, is good for my Mother, and for all affairs at Scotsbrig? I hope before long to see with my own eyes what is going on there. The “Photograph,”—alas, it is never yet done, owing to my own idleness and that of Lawrence;3 but it shall be done by and by if I prosper! That is certain.— One of the things I am busy meditating at present is a Box for Alick,—long promised, now to be performed. I find Liverpool will be the best place to send it from. The Paulets undertake to get it well forwarded: I will tell you more of it next time. Goodnight, dear Brother, dear Mother & you all! T. C.