The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 24 February 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530224-TC-JAC-01; CL 28: 51


Chelsea 24 feby, 1853—

My dear Brother,—Here has a Note come for you “to be forwarded”; which will be my apology for this pusillanimous short jotting,—done with such a pen! I got your bulletin about my Mother; many thanks to you for that. Jean, I farther compute, is leaving Moffat House this day for Scotsbrig; she was to write to me soon after seeing my Mother. The “imaginative faculty” opens strange views to me of those old Annandale localities and personalities, this cold snowy morning! It is coming towards five and forty years since I first set eyes on that House where you are now living,—the image of which is very vivid to me at this moment;—and several things have come and gone since that old afternoon when “Tom Smaill”1 guided me (in the allertraurigste [gloomiest] manner) thro that undiscovered country: eheu, eheu! Or as Graham2 has it “Oh whow!”

We had thaw here for two days: yesterday I went out, in rather thinner clothing, to suit the kindlier temperature; rain came upon me in Belgrave Square;3 grew ever heavier on the obstinate pedestrian for about an hour; shortly after whh I arrived at home, and hung up my dripping garments, thinking the weather now decided:— looking out an hour or two after all was white, and about 10 p.m. all nature had become glass, and there was a north-wind, comparable to a rusty razor (without soap) on the human face! So it still lasts, sky grey & wind abated in quantity. We are pretty well: Jane has got rid of her cold:—I keep standing to my tools,—too literally “standing,” for there is next to no way made in any direction, nor method visible of making any. We hear nothing of Forster, nothing of Darwin; understand that they are both on the sicklist still: I have not even seen Chorley for weeks,—who indeed is growing (if possible) more withered and abstruse than ever.—Best regards to Phoebe. — Your affectionate T. Carlyle