April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 23 December 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18491223-TC-JAC-01; CL 24: 314-315


Chelsea, 23 Decr 1849

My dear Brother,

We have the Box, the Shoes, and the essential of the Books quite ready; and my notion was to-day to pack and send them off by Pickford at once: but on second thots I find it will be safer to put a word of inquiry to you first, and ascertain that we are not wrong somewhere. Jane has brought down a Dante done by “Carolus Witte” (Leipzic 1848) into Latin Hexameters by the “Abbate dalla Piazza”; a thinnish octavo volume, which you have covered in grey paper—is that accurately it? She asserts so: but your Letter has fallen aside somewhere; and I conclude, tho' reluctantly, to ask again and see. Then as to the other Book or Books for your “evening reading”: we have the Shakspeare quite ready, but doubt it might get spoiled (your own nicely bound one,—tho' there is a one-volume copy, free of this objection), also that you might find it rather languid reading, &c &c. I have just ended an English Lucian, two quarto voll. “from the German of Wieland,” a London Library Book; really lively reading, and was minded to send you that meo periculo [at my risk];—then farther there is Preuss, two Books of his about King Fritz; instructive, interesting too, tho' toughish reading:1 not to mention other possibilities, here or in Cochrane's Establisht. On the whole, say definitely, and we will do, so far as feasible. The Box is a trim nice light little thing, some 2 f 4 by 1 f 4 and 8 inches deep (perhaps); and will hold a great many Books: indeed, if there be not more Books than you once spoke of, I think a Paper Parcel will do the job.

Furthermore, with regard to Newspapers. I made the man send you two “Illustrated” ones last week, the only two there were,—6d apiece;—select either, if you like either for my Mother and you; tell me what to do about the old one, and I will pay it off at the same time.2 Miss Wynne writes to me the new Chronicles with “Labour and the Poor” will need to be returned to Grafton Street, if I accept them: I think I must decline that offer; in fact, I have been thinking to take out a secondhand Chronicle, as I had the Times once: what say you to that?3 Do you care anything about it for Scotsbrig? No other Nos will come from me (in fact I shall get no more) till I hear.— Chorley paid me his 8/6 for the meal,—excellent meal, as I can testify; the butter also unsurpassable.— I think the shoes will really answer. They came last night, rather before expectation, and seem carefully made, according to all the measures and model and directions.— A word tomorrow before this go. No more today, dear Brother.

Monday afternoon. No time dear Brother; I have been very busy all forenoon, and have still much to do out of doors and in. Send us word instantly: all is ready here.— I am in terrible perplexity abt my writings, and Publishings still more!— Take care of my dear old Mother; keep her within doors this bad weather. It is a great comfort to me to think that you are near her. Dd Hope has sent his Acct, and got it back. Blessings on you all.

T. Carlyle