The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 15 August 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530815-TC-JAC-01; CL 28: 251-252


Chelsea, 15 Augt 1853—

My dear Brother,

I got both your Notes, and a Letter of fully later date from Jean,—yet not much later by any means, so that I am again in straits for intelligence. Alas, alas—what intelligence (my diseased imagination asks) can I hope!

Here there has nothing essential gone wrong; nothing at all properly, but failure now & then of sleep, & multiplex negociations, enterprises &c of a small nature in consequence. I am truly a biliary man just now; and often feel as if I had got about my weight, of disgusting nothingnesses and of graver cares & sorrows, laid upon my poor shoulders just now. The worst is I cannot get forward with my work; that properly indeed is my one sorrow; for it cuts off my one stronghold in this sad controversy of a life led as “a minority of one,”—which is rather a tight business at best, and tries the nerves of a man now and then!— However, we are actually at work, building an impregnably deaf apart, by way of new top-story; and if (in “six weeks time, ” that is the predicted limit) I can say Eureka and be out of the mortar-tub, it will be a real conquest. Chorley is & has been abundantly helpful; all are ready to “help” if they could. We have a new Builder (a Cubitt's man), and he goes on like an artist, I must say.— — I scribble daily in a kind of despair; but it is to almost no purpose, or to absolutely none.

I think I had surely something else to say; but it has gone irrecoverably out of my head; and the Post, and the general tide of things, will not wait. Adieu. Be all good with you in your touring & other operations. Yours ever

T. Carlyle