August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 20 November 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18461120-TC-JAC-01; CL 21:95-96.


Chelsea, 20 Novr, 1846—

There is no news I have to tell you tonight, dear Brother; except only to mention, for the quieting of some possible scruples in my Mother, that the Gown-piece, announced some time ago and never yet received in Dumfries, is quite safe notwithstanding. There was a small mistake made here about the sending of it off; which mistake, so soon as I heard from Jean that the thing had not come, I got rectified; and now, Chapman assures me, the Parcel is off; and, as I have written to Jean on the subject, you are likely to receive it about the beginning of next month at latest. So much for that.

We are still very quiet here, and tolerably well in health; not doing very much; quietly enjoying the late excellent weather, till this loud storm came on. About an hour ago, Miss Helen Welsh arrived from Liverpool; I have left her, after tea, down stairs with Jane. She is to stay till Christmas; about which time there is some uncertain speculation of our going off ourselves on a visit of some length to Alverstoke,—somewhat problematic, as I judge at present. Miss Helen will do no ill here in the interim; tho' Jeannie, our old favourite, I think, would have answered better. We likewise expect, from minute to minute, our new Servant maid tonight! A strapping Edinburgh lass, well recommended; chosen by Jane's old Betty, who has a most judicious eye: we shall see how the pudding proves by eating of it soon!1 Poor little Servant Helen, whose head is somewhat turned, sets off for Dublin tomorrow; I doubt it will turn to no good for the poor little tick; but none of us could do anything to help it. These are our domestic events.

In reference to myself, I should have told you one thing long since: the fate of the Dandelion Pills! I swallowed one daily for some time; but found a decided irritation and little other result produced; so that being obliged to interfere with a more effective aloetic article, and stand its irritation over and above, I had to give up the other concern: I tried the gallipot juice too, once or twice, but with no better consequence and so there I stand,—a man incurable by any kind of medicine; for whom medicine might as well not have been! By dint of going idle, I am on the whole rather better at present than usual.

The man we met at Thomas Erskines was Fairey; the Italian Scotch traveller (not the sick one) who consulted you last year: a good kind of man.2 About a month since he had already addressed me, by mistake, for you, one day in the Park. I asked him to call on me again. Erskine is under Doctors or Surgeons; but seems well and cheerful in mind.— We expect the Scotsbrig Meal soon. I was greatly obliged by your Annandale notices and news.3 Take care of my Mother! My blessing with you all.—

T. Carlyle