July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 6 March 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480306-TC-JCA-01; CL 22: 261-263


Chelsea, 6 March, 1848—

Dear Jean,

I certainly owe you a Letter, some note of my existence and continued remembrance of you: so in spite of considerable hurry, here goes a word to you. I suppose my hurry, great as it is, cannot readily press heavier on me than yours on you when you take pen in hand. Thanks that you nevertheless do so; your Letters are our chief Annandale history at present, and form a great resource to us.

We are in our usual way of health here; all but Jane, who still continues mostly prisoner within doors, has taken breakfast in bed these six weeks or more, and really has no strength to spare. She sleeps very indifferently; that, I think, is her worst suffering at present; for the cough is very much gone, and she is sharp enough, and takes a full management of her affairs, enjoys company of people that come to see her, and so on:—in short we wait for the sun's coming out, that she too may make her appearance in public again. But our weather is full of mud and of frost; more rain by far than is common here, and perpetual sudden changes into bitter frosty Northwind, which again changes to South and West with new puddles: very bad weather for all thinskinned creatures. The way our dear old Mother seems to stand it, is wonderful; and surely will be counted a blessing by all of us.

My Mother's Newspaper was sent to you yesterday; because there was a “bit Article” on Louis Philippe in it by me. The Editor (one Forster now) came almost down on his knees to me for it; and then, my hand once being in, I wrote him a second, for which also he was passionately thankful in prospect: but, alas, when the article itself came (“French Republic,” is headed), there was a sad hitch in it! In fact I had better send you F.'s little note, which may amuse you for a moment,—and then pray burn it immediately. The result is, the Article (an utterly insignificant one, and with the dangerous passage cut out) will appear next week:1 and there, I fancy, my Journalising ends, for the present. I have plenty of things to say,—with a vengeance!—and have more than once thought of yielding to this Editor's solicitation, “that I would write ANYthing, any thing whatsoever!”—but, alas, he does not know what he is inviting to write. I told him, it was suffict to blow up any British Newspaper in existence, to set me firing cannonades in it. Better, I suppose, to write it, tho' with more trouble, all down in a Book?— — We are immensely delighted, all and sundry in these parts, and thanking Heaven, each in his way, that the old scoundrel Louis Philippe has been packed about his business. Sent flying, he and his, like a King Crispin and his shoemaker Dukes,2—like a pack of coiners when the police comes suddenly on them! All men and all Nations rejoice at it; for certainly anything whatever was an improvement compared with that. Guizot has got hither too,—his poor old Mother, now near 90, is not here but has been left behind: nobody will meddle with her, poor old woman.

I send you today a Copy of Fraser's Magazine; one of the silliest of Magazines (I fear,—for indeed I have not read it); but 6d will carry it: perhaps my Mother may find something to read in it.

I am engaged twice this week to dine; which will do very little for me, I know! Then again on Saturday come a week; but that is “to meet Sir R. Peel,” whh was worth doing once.— — Dear Jean, write to me again: take care of Mother, our good old Mother, and don't let her be tattered about! Say, I will write to herself very soon. You too have a Problem before you; be canny, lass!— My kind love to James, to Sister Jenny and all the bairns & parents. Adieu. T. Carlyle

Do not neglect the Account next time. Jack was here last night,—well as need be.