1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 27 January 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540127-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 25-26


Chelsea, 27 jany, 1854—

My dear Brother,

We have no news for you here; but Letters are so cheap, I may send you a line before the week end, merely to say that we have none. I am rather deeply concerned with bile at this time; and considerably darkened and overloaded, little way to be made in any direction whatever. It is astonishing how small a quantity of “work” has filled the lapse of this week that is now departing from us! My soul is exceeding solitary, all hung with black in general (thinking of what is gone, and what cannot return to me),1—I hold my peace in general, and accept the decrees of Heaven; still hoping that some useful labour may be again possible for me here, which is the one consolation I can conceive at present. The burden of disordered nerves and liver,—sure enough it does fearfully augment one's quantum of allotted sorrow in this world! But we cannot help it; we ought to do the best we can under it,—and not spend breath or ink in lamenting over it, as here!

Jane is deep in carpets, stair-do, and etceteras: she has got the house now nearly rigged out; new room wants only a day of papering, were the weather once dry: and truly it is now a very good house, among the very best of its kind; and will serve us very well by way of shelter in the world, so long as we need that. This upstairs room (drawing room) is practically in use, as sitting room always after dinner; and, both in space, look, and temperature, is a manifest improvement. Let us be thankful withal. No noises now disturb me; our neighbour to the right is bound under penalty to make none;—that settles him.2

We are still very quiet here; few visitors, and yet enough, according to my present humour. The opening of Parlt will bring a more crowded time; yet to me, who care absolutely nothing abt what it is now to be doing, there will be less accession of disturbance than to most. I am invited for Monday to the Conference (at the Adelphi) on the Preston Strike; have some notion to go; but know not for certain.3 Abundance of rumour still abt Prince Albert (poor soul), but no sensible person that I meet takes the least share in it.4

Tom Wilson called here the other day; has lost an Uncle at Manchester; is making ready for Weimar agt Easter;5—melodious, but loose and windy;—I walked him out, called somewhere, since he did not otherwise go. Another evening (to my surprise, but Jane was aware of their voluntary purpose) the Procters came down:6 Barry is still very good, a weak innocent geniality in him; he is growing decidedly old: his wife, snappish and lively as ever, refuses absolutely to let her hair turn grey, or her face fade, and really looks like 30 rather than 60.— A Book, I find, is fairly better than most company one gets.

Here is my second and final Letter from poor Nesham:7 I shall not need to prosecute his Father's Biography; however, you may return the Note. I hope Dante holds good!— Adieu, dear Brother. With kind regards to Phoebe.—

Yours ever /

T. Carlyle