July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JAMES CARLYLE ; 19 October 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471019-TC-JC-01; CL 22: 133-134


Chelsea, 19 octr, 1847—

My dear Jamie,

We got your Note; and read it, as we do all writings from you, with pleasure. You should write oftener. Jane says, “with few words he always tells me much”;—which is a fact and an honourable one to a writer!—

The result of our meditations on the oatmeal, is that 8 stones of it will be enough; some of the old is still here; but Jane proposes giving it away, as having grown a little tasteless to those that know good meal. I now rarely take any supper, of porridge or otherwise; but Jane, every night, has a little cup made, and I sometimes; and our little English maid has learned to make porridge better than the average by far; besides one's chance of a little oatcake now and then:—so let us settle for eight stone; and the sooner you send it, and the Butter which I think Isabella has ready, we shall be the blither. Some bacon exists here; but it is of no great excellence, and the price (½ per lb) is altogether enormous: the two Hams you spoke of, or one of them, if you find an eligible eater for the other, will be very welcome here. I will send two Addresses on Card; and then you can proceed when leisure serves; and the steam carriages will soon bring it from Liverpool to us. Next year, I suppose, Pickford1 will have extended his walk along the Caledonian up to Glasgow itself; and offices may be nearer hand if we have luck to need them.

You must tell my Mother that Jane is reading the missionary Book (Moffat's),2 and bids me declare it is the most interesting Book she has read for a great while! This is her voluntary account of it hitherto.— And how is my good Mother herself, now that she is left quiet, and alas left solitary, again? Do not neglect to send me punctual word of her; to her I will write duly, so long as I can handle a pen. Isabella and you are both aware how you can oblige me, and all the rest of us, with a kindness more sacred than any other: continue to do so, I entreat you both; it well behoves me to help in it if I can! What you said of breakfasting down stairs, when winter comes, was very gratifying to me.— I have not written to Dumfries yet; but, by symbols if not otherwise, they know my arrival here. By the bye I was to say also that the Honeycomb, all potted up in its crumbled state, is not a whit the worse as to taste; and indeed excels any honey we have had for many years.

The Doctor is very well; extremely busy, and I think considerably improved in his carriage by having some continuous task to do. He gets on but slowly, and does not seem to think of moving from Chelsea yet. I spoke to him of Mrs Howatson's disorder in the breast:3 but beyond what I myself had said to Isabella, of which he seemed to approve as safe doctrine, he had not any deliverance to give. Certainly Mrs H. ought to go to some good Doctor with it straightway.— Dear Brother, my paper is done for this day, and indeed my time also; for the day is extremely beautiful, and I missed my walk yesterday for rain. Our united blessings on you all. Ever your affecte T. Carlyle