July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JAMES CARLYLE ; 18 November 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471118-TC-JC-01; CL 22: 159-160


Chelsea, 18 Novr, 1847—

Dear Jamie,

I have written to Stewart about Satter; asking whether he imagines they would sell it separately, and what he reckons a cheap price for it might be. I will tell you about his Answer when it comes: but I do not think he will feel himself free to tell me much about the thing; being appointed to sell, he cannot well give very frank direction as to buying.— I now wish you to take the business up practically into your own hand, and after leisurely reflexion and examination give me some account of your ideas upon it. You can examine the ground, and learn with some exactness how much there is of it, of what quality it is &c; also get some account of the Dwelling house and offices;—and on the whole tell me what you think it could be let at by the year, and in short what you would consider the real worth of it to be. Having heard both you and Stewart on the subject, there will, as I told him too, be more scope for either going forward, or withdrawing altogether.

The Doctor does not bite at the speculation, tho' he does not seem indifferent to it either: he perhaps rather wishes me to bestir myself in it, and will then see what can follow for one or other of us.

As for me, you know I have long wanted some kind of house in the country, where I could, if not stay altogether, run down for shelter in hot or otherwise unpleasant months, and stay till I was completely tired of “silence”: Satter is too far off, and the House I doubt is none of the best; but then on the other hand it is in my Home Country, close by my Mother and you all: that is a great point! At worst, if the place were to be had cheap, and I had something like the cash that would buy it, I might as well invest the cash there as in the Dumfries Bank: I suppose the interest would be quite as good, and the security not worse, but better if need were. You may let me hear about it, therefore, at any rate; and I may keep the thing hanging as a pleasant possibility, till we see it decided one way or other.

I have sent off a copy of the new Miscellanies for my Mother; it will be at Dumfries about the beginning of next month: there is nothing new in it but those Papers in the last Volume. Some other Books, I still expect, may go along with it for my Mother, She got the wool soles, the other day, by Post? I hope she takes care of herself in this beginning of the winter; that I believe is the worst season of all.— — I am not quite idle; yet a long way from being very busy on any great thing. I am rather sorting rubbish out of my way; as a preparation for perhaps small things. We are all well; bright weather, with frost in the air; Jane already crying out of cold. The oatmeal is admirable: I have a small dish of porridge every night,—with “thanks to the Maker.” I sometimes think I am growing better in health! My affection to my Mother, to Isabella and you all. Ever your Brother,— T. Carlyle