The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 2 September 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530902-TC-JCA-01; CL 28: 256-257


Chelsea, 2 septr, 1853—

Dear Jean,

Today I send you a Fraser just come out, and another Booklet, of which you will not make much. I will inclose also 7/6 worth of stamps; which is the price of the knives with carriage: I believe Chorley to be “enjoying” the sharpness of them very much; at least it was the best we could do for him: and I am very much obliged to James & you. Perhaps I ought to have made the payment not to you but to James? It will be all the same, I calculate.

Of my poor Mother I have heard nothing at all since you wrote: I may say I think of her continually; but there is, I fancy, little to be said or to be heard. I beg for a word at any rate (it cannot come now before Monday, unless you have already written); and bid you say to her that my sad and pious affection is ever with her. Does she still talk about Dumfries? I know not whether that might be rightly feasible: but if so, it might perhaps do good. I cannot judge; alas, I cannot help; I can do nothing, but send my empty wishes!

The Dr I suppose is still in Edinr; I owe him a Note: but he would have written, had there any specific news come to him.— Jamie, I conclude, is busy with his harvest: we have terribly wet weather here;—yesterday (Monday) was such a day of downpouring as I have seldom seen.

The carpenters &c are getting on in spite of weather: they are, this day, laying the floor (finishing that), and are perhaps about the noisiest. I get on wonderfully in spite of the uproar,—was turned out, this morning, however, by unbearable knocking & bashing, and went for a long walk before breakfast.— — I keep as busy as I can; but to little effect: the only thing is, I won't be beaten; as my Father used to say, “I'll gar mysel’ do it!” If I had a “perfectly quiet room” (as I hope to have in a short time), I must strip and at it.— — Dear Jean, I am in great haste and confusion, as is too often my case; but I would not let the week close without this poor two-words to my dear Mother & you. Blessings on you all.

T. Carlyle