1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 3 January 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540103-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 3-4


Chelsea, 3 jany, 1854—

My dear Brother,

Jamie and I caught your Note at Middlebie yesterday morning, on the road to the rail. It was as cold a morning as I ever felt. My journey went on without outward accident; but was supremely unpleasant,—from the hour-and-half to wait at Carlisle, and then from the raging hurry whh frustrated all attempts at getting either food or drink in the stern cold. From Lancashire onwards I suffered from cold, wrap as I might; and was very glad indeed to see Euston Square at last. Even there my troubles did not end; for I got a cabman, half drunk, whose hourse was not roughened,1 whom I had to dismiss with noise at the top of Regent street: finally I got home at one; and found those troubles ended. The frost is intense all the way, London very white and slippery as glass, under a grey iron sky.— I have looked at my Mother's Picture;2 tried here and there to realise the sad and stern new fact, which will be of such importance to me: but as yet it is all a kind of dim stupefaction;

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Frontispiece, CL Volume 13

Detail of a portrait of Margaret A. Carlyle by Maxwell of Dumfries, 1842, Carlyle's House, Chelsea.

Reproduced by permission of The National Trust for Places of Historical Interest or Natural Beauty, London.

I am wandering about putting by my things &c.— In the Newspaper Commonwealth which I send you today, I found, in smoking my pipe, a paragraph (near the end) folded down: which has been written by some stranger to us and our affairs.3— — I am sorry to think how your business has been all cut away, dear Brother: you will have many a thought about it, and they will be unhappy ones till you get into something else.4 We all pray, I especially, that you may be guided to something good and worthy. Our good and dear Mother is at rest; God grant our lives might be all as brave as hers was. No more today. Ever yours / T.C.

To Jamie I have written a line. Newspapers to the others.— — Jane is gone out, and night is sinking. (4 p.m.)