The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 29 December 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511229-TC-JAC-01; CL 26: 285-286


The Grange, 29 decr / 1851—

My dear Brother,

Here we still are, and have to continue till Friday: “the Thackerays were coming,” the &c—in short, my Lady and Jane had settled that we could not go till the day after Newyearsday; and so in waiting for that date, still four days ahead of us remain for perfect idleness, indigestion, and smoking of tobacco under difficulties! The people are all very good to us, and intrinsically most of them are really agreeable and superior people: nevertheless one feels utterly out of place in such a scene of strenuous donothingism waited on by all the elegancies; and I shall be truly thankful, I for one, to get back to my own cell, and some kind of attempt at rational employment again.1— Jane has quite got rid of her cold; I too, in spite of unwholesome hours and elements, contrive to swim along without running quite on the rocks; I ride, by myself, two hours, almost every day, and that is the circumstance that saves me. Our party for some time was very thin; it still consists only of Miss Farrer, Thackeray with his two little girls, Lady Sandwich (a good old cheery-hearted tho' very weakly dame): and so, or nearly so, we expect it to continue till Friday, when it finally dissolves. Thy is just returned from lecturing and lionizing to the full extent in Edinr; he is not of great profit to talk with, but he is easy and agreeable, and his presence, taking away the burden of talk from the others, is so far very welcome. We have also a little Chemist called Bloxham, a man not unlike Geo: Johnston of Glo'ster,2 only he is London-bred and very finished in his manner; who is galloping thro' some kind of “course” with Lord A. in a certain “laboratory” out of doors: poor little fellow, I daresay he is much struck with the strange modes of “study,” among other things, whh are prevalent here!3 Palmerston's fall with the continual London gossip on it, gives rise to much talk in our sphere;4 Louis Napoleon do do:—Eheu!

I made Postie forward your Nation direct; my Mother's Leader could not get till today. Right thankful am I to hear of her continuing well in this bad season. How strange and touching to figure her out in my mind here, as I often enough do! For indeed amid all this gabble, I am profoundly solitary, lonely almost as the dead! Adieu dear Brother. Ys ever—T. Carlyle

Jane and I were very glad of your Note, and I ought to say so.— Did you ever hear of little (Mephistopheles) Marshall at Weimar?5 Here is a Letter from him whh the stamp will carry.