The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN; 26 April 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500426-TC-JCA-01; CL 25: 72-73


Chelsea, Friday / 25 [26] April 1850—

My dear Sister,

Surely you have not laid out a penny to greater advantage this long while; many thanks to you for it! Jenny told us merely the historical fact; but that was grave enough to us; and I have had a continual secret anxiety about you,—and still have, tho' matters are reported well hitherto. For all sakes take care of yourself still; keep out of noise and excitation, to the utmost possible extent be quiet and careful for a week or two! I resist much agt those well-meaning Callers &c tho' it cannot be helped; I wish you had been screened against the Wednesday's tumult. And poor Jenny,—it would have been much better, could she have staid with you, and seen her duty to be there rather than in the Kirk, which has turned out so ill with her.— On the whole the weather is hard and bad, a[nd] your adventure is not a good one: I pray you use all care to get handsomely out of it;—and let us hear, in a day or two again (sooner if anything go wrong), how you get on, till all (please Heaven) be well again.

I am still full of business; struggling now with No 6, which is to be calle[d] “Parliaments,”1 and will be comparatively a tame piece. The “New Downing Street,” I fancy has not yet reached Dumfries; but it will surely come,—and be welcome, as new potatoes always are, however late the season. I could have sent it too by post, very easily; but I judged there wd be little delay,—and that it wd be like buying new vegetables (as they do here just now at extravagant rates) before the due season for th[em.] “Stump Orator” (a command to all men to hold their tongues more) is lying ready agt Wednesday first:—I begin now to look down-hill, or almost downhill, over my contemplated Dozen; and can hope I shall get wrestled thro' them,—tho' the outlook farther on is very dim yet. Reasonable words, some few, have been spoken to me and of me; unreasonable very many; and I believe the “Bow-wow! Whaf-thaf?” from all the dogs in the parish, tho' I hear almost nothing of it, goes on still according to its law.

I stopped your Newspaper, as ordered: the Leader is a very good Paper hitherto; indeed I take it out as the best I can get here for my own use. Jack gets it all Tuesdays: if you bid him, I suppose, he could send it on to you after Mother & he have done with it. The Paper has a socialist tendency (it is understood), but they keep that under hatches pretty well. Leigh Hunt's eldest son,2 a really clever, little brown-skinned man, and true as steel in his way, is Editor; he and a certain dramatic G. H. Lewes,3 an airy loose-tongued merry hearted being, with more sail then ballast,—they, on the funds of, a certain heterodox Lincolnshire Parson whom I have seen,4 “carry on the work of the day.”— — Jane is gone out; I too ought to be. Take care of yourself dear Jean! Yours always

T. Carlyle