August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN; 17 October 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18461017-TC-JCA-01; CL 21:76.


CHELSEA, Saturday, 17th October, 1846.

DEAR SISTER,—That letter for the Doctor reached me last night with instructions, as you see, to forward it to you. There is another little one from poor little Jane, which I like still better, but I am ordered to return it to my mother. Alick is going on very tolerably and seems to do as well as one could expect in his new settlement,—somewhat bitter of temper yet, but diligent and favoured to see the fruits of his diligence.

We are extremely quiet here, not writing, or expressly meditating to write, resting in fact, for I find Chelsea greatly the quietest place I could meet with. This long while I read a great many books of very little value, see almost nobody except with the eye merely, find silence better than speech—sleep better than waking! My thoughts are very serious, I will not call them sorrowful or miserable; I am getting fairly old and do not want to be younger—I know not whether Jeffrey would call that “happy” or not.1

Our maid Helen is leaving us, invited to be some Housekeeper to a brother she has in Dublin, at present a rich trader there, “all upon float” as I sometimes fear. Jane is busy negotiating about a successor, hopes to get a suitable one from Edinburgh or almost to have got such. You have not written to me. Tell Jenny I will send her some word soon. My kind regards to James. Good be with you and your house, dear Jean. Jane is out, and therefore silent.

Ever yours, /

T. C.