1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN; 3 March 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540303-TC-JCA-01; CL 29: 38-39


London, 3 March / 1854

My dear Sister,—I sent you off a parcel of Pamphlets today (Fraser one of them); but I wanted to write a word too, and had not quite time at home (owing to “hours of departure” in Chelsea), so have run in here to do it.

The last that wrote was not you, I think, but myself? Well, that is no matter; I want a little word from you at any rate. James's Newspaper came this week without the Strokes,1 which is quite unusual, and excited various speculations in me: Jane did indeed gainsay, all she could,—but, on the whole, I had rather have a word if all is right; and still more now, if all is not.

Of myself I had almost [no]2 account to give that is worth writing. The frosty spring weather is not favourable to my health; it never quite knocks me down, but is apt to keep me perceptibly unfitter for work than the average. “Work” accordingly gets on very badly indeed: alas, alas!— Poor Jane has been kept within doors in a lamed state these ten days by a kind of cold, not very severe tho' troublesome enough: she now begins to venture out again, tho still encumbered by the remnants of the disorder. Our weather is beautiful to look upon; useful for the husbandman too, and therefore not to be complained of: but it is not wholesome for persons of thin skin. Every morning there is rime, ice if opportunity have offered; cold indeed is sharp and snell, and till 10 o'clock or so we have a dirty fog which makes it complete: after which, the sun having got the master, we have a blazing splendour as of summer, and one's lightest coat is welcomest till towards evening when all is Greenland again.

The Town is got full, and is getting fuller and fuller, with noises of Parliament &c &c: but we are very little concerned indeed with all that, and live, I daresay, about as quietly as you do, if not more so,—seeing, or seeking to see, I at least, an extremely small number of persons; if it be not on the street, where (in gloomy solitude of meditation) I see tens of thousands!

Jack has sent no word, this some time; indeed I suspect it is I that am in turn to write. I fear he has got no house yet?— A word, now, on the Sunday, if you can;3 and so good b'ye again, dear Sister; for I must end at this point

Ever your affecte /

T. Carlyle