The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 8 December 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511208-TC-JAC-01; CL 26: 255-256


Chelsea, 8 decr 1851—

My dear Brother,

I was truly vexed and shocked yesterday Evg on coming in for dinner to find that I had left the Newspapers in my perilous hurry and that there they still were, on the “pedestal drawers,” where I had laid them when addressed. The Sterling Horse came while I was writing a line to Jane, and had not yet got on any of my riding—gear; so that the bustle was intense!— I have got, this morning, a Note from Jean, which I enclose. Jamie's Herald is never yet come; but I send him today a Carlisle Journal instead, which contains (I find) a Note of mine whh I had quite forgotten and which makes me grin now on reading it.1 This did not come till 11 o'clock today;—and along with it, what is far more important, there came a Newspaper from Alick, which was the appointed signal of the Stg Book's arrival in his hands: I send the cover and heading of the Canadian Dud, for my good Mother's sake, who will be glad to see it as I was. Jean says nothing about her, whh is a wonder: but I hope there has not anything gone wrong since I last heard;—pray write, however, as soon as you have leisure.— Jane describes herself as pleasantly occupied “dressing seven dolls” (whh I suppose are school-gifts of Lady A.'s), but troubled a little still with her fit of cold, which prevents her going out;—even the “Conservatory,” a big covered place, is too damp and raw for her. I do not yet hear what day I am to go, but suppose it will be Saturday. I confess I have but little brow of it all; but must go, as matters stand. I am very busy reading Seven-Years War Book; not with any particular outlook,—merely to see, to see!

Farie came on me the other night on the street; insisted, as he usually does, on walking to Sloane Square with me. His sole news was rather bad: That the Erskines were come to Town on a sorrowful errand, poor Mrs Captn Paterson being dangerously ill,2—of some kind of pulmonary thing. Sir Js Clark is attending her; small help in him, if it is a bad case! She had been about Torquay; but the Captn, so ill was she there, had brought her up for better advice. She and he were now “somewhere abt Westbourn Terrace”;3 Erskine and the other sister4 had taken a house, “somewhere abt Lowndes Street,” near here. I have yet seen none of them, nor know yet where precisely to seek them.— Nothing farther from France of the smallest moment. Ls Napoleon has his way—for the time.5 So be it.— — Tell me how my Mother is; and give my blessings to her and them all. Adieu dear Brother.

T. Carlyle