The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 22 January 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530122-TC-JAC-01; CL 28: 15-16


Chelsea, 22 jany, 1853—

My dear Brother,

Take this Note-of-hand for our well-being at present, rather than nothing at all in the week now ending. Your last Note had crossed mine on the road; the appearance of it here was very welcome. I hope, according to Isabella's expectation, you made out your journey to Scotsbrig, and will report to me soon. My poor Mother, I can perceive, is very frail indeed: alas, alas, I often enough reflect, it cannot be otherwise: one of the saddest of all the sad thoughts that visit the solitary chambers of one's mind in these times. Give me what best description you can.

We have been considerably out of sleep for the last ten days; but [word(s) missing] it is all right now, & that last night's composure is the first step in the “ould tram-way” again. Poor Jane sleeps ill at any rate;—and the poor neighbour, right-hand, has lately been inspired by the Evil Powers to institute Poultry in his premises and even a Cock! Think of that. After sad meditation, and some ineffectual trials otherwise, I called him in last night; spoke earnestly with diplomatic politeness to the poor man; offered him a gold sovereign for the head of this fatal cock, indicating darkly withal that it could not “thrive” in that confined place (Gambardella's gun,1 corrosive-sublimate,2 armed fishing rods, and I know not what, having loomed in the distance, as he crowed!),—and, in fine, I hope now the thing is finished in a fairly human manner!— We have seen as good as nobody; done nothing, except dreary old German Geschichtsbücher [historical books] I, in a very feeble manner. Our days however are lengthening, our sky clearing; we look for better times coming soon. How is Phoebe and her poor cold; how is the household; how you and your work?— If you have any Books, Jean wd evidently be very glad of them. I sent her one, worth little. Adieu dear Brother: my lo[ve is not] so small as my Letter! T.C.