The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 12 September 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530912-TC-JCA-01; CL 28: 267


Chelsea, 12 Septr, 1853—

Dear Jean,—I was very much comforted and greatly obliged by your little Note,—of which I had great need! Our dear old Mother seems to be no worse at any rate. There is nobody ever gives me anything like so vivid a picture of her actual situation as you.1

Inclosed are 10 stamps, which I owe your James; in consequence of the Bank Transaction with Mary. He will explain it to you,—how Mary got her 10d of “interest” too by his care:—in short, the stamps are his (with many thanks); and now that matter is altogether settled, according to the way you directed.2

There is another Inclosure here with your Name on it, which I wish you to change into money, and keep for the purpose of paying your railway expenses at least in these journeys to and fro.— I was wont to gratify myself by making my dear Mother a little Gift every year: but this year, Jack has so confused me with talking about “bottles of wine,” plenty of money &c &c that I know not what to do in that matter; and you must now, with your best discretion, ascertain whether a £10 to her just now will not be a superfluity and an impertinence.— On the whole, it is best to inclose the second Draught (dated 16 Septr) which I will also put in your name (but it is for my Mother); and leave you to manage with your best discretion. Do this, cannily and wisely, if you love me! Alas, I have nothing in which I can help; and the small superfluity of today will be a relief to my feelings, if it can be accepted at all!— —Jane will write, herself, about the Butter: she is gone out, at this moment;—we are actually about running off to our little shelter in the country, 10 miles off, to be out of certain noisier parts of these operations,—particularly the cutting out of the staircase, which will be dusty as well. “Addiscombe Farm, Croydon,” is the name of the place; but direct your letters here as usual; they will only be a few hours later in reaching me.— This welcome letter of Alick's came today; all is well there: the “Parcel” which he very luckily rejected was nothing but a dud of a “Nigger Question” worth nothing at all. Good be with you all, and blessings, on my dear Mother evermore.— Your affecte T. Carlyle