The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 9 April 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530409-TC-JAC-01; CL 28: 101-102


Chelsea, 9 April, 1853—

My dear Brother,

Take this small Note from me rather than none at all. I came home from The Grange, according to program, on Monday, without accident or adventure of any kind; I had got your Letter there: I was heartily wearied with the idle tumult we had had, and the total absence of solid employment or rationality which had characterised my existence for the week past:1—I have never yet got quite anchored down into my old moorings here; and, tho' apparently busy all day, am really not working since my return, except as a living soul, in whom reason is not extinct tho' buried in the belly of Chaos, may be said to work. God send me “a good deliverance” (as the serjeant-at-arms says)!2 For there is little daylight yet visible thro' my affairs; and the heart of me has not the violent strength it once had to tumble the dung-mountains out of my way, to right and left!— I have done nothing at Fritz since my return; have not, in fact, put pen to paper at all. The truth is, I am very bilious in addition to all; and must try to acquire a little more composure of nerves, and healthy thickness of skin, as the beginning of all possibility of good.

We have now the finest weather; bright sunny skies, with the due proportion of April showers; and the trees, after this long delay, are at last fairly beginning to bud. There was not in Hampshire the slightest incipiency of green tint to be met with; the greenest field I had seen was St James's Park on my return.— The other night we had Henry Inglis here; grown fat and five-and-forty, otherwise much the same man;3 and rather wearisome to me. Tom Wilson, with a coarse-looking sensible Scotch man and Painter, called Tait,4 came yesterday; wearisome too, rather than otherwise. Ach Gott! The Human Species is but of small use to me, for one, in these months and years; and a man with anything to say that is better than nothing, does not often turn up! I often think still of getting out into the stillness of the country, and having a little space of solitary endeavour to knit up the ravelled sleeve of care before I quite throw down the needles!— News from my Mother, I depend on you for them!

Yours ever

T. Carlyle