1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 23 May 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540523-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 105


Chelsea, 23 May, 1854—

My dear Brother,—it is certain Jean said the Monday after: I marked the passage in that Letter of hers you sent me; and if you have not destroyed it (for it was returned to you in my last packet), you will still find it. My own indistinct recollections, which however did lean to “after” too, are not worth much: but Jamie is in general a precise witness in regard to things of memory,—is he not? If he and Jean go together, the point may be taken as pretty well settled. This is all I had to say. If Jean have, since that Letter, revoked her “after,” the case is altered; and your proposed settlement (of last night) is of course the true one.— I am glad the poor little enterprise is to go on now without delay: the last service we shall ever get to do to her who is gone into Eternity, and has left us here (for a little while) in the vortexes of Time!—

Not long since, David Laing applied to me for a written word upon what I had been once mentioning to him while here last autumn,—a Scheme of making a grand Exhibition, one good time for all, of whatever real Portraits of Historical Scotchmen were discoverable now in the world! I wrote David accordingly (a too long, and very bad Letter,—being ill-off at the moment, not even a pen that would write); this is David's return, which I here inclose,—half the Letter smoked away, unhappily; but enough left, I have no doubt! Throw it in the fire when you have read, if you like to read. Last night at Edinr the Dilettanti bodies would be speaking of the thing;1 but whether it will ever come to a result, I don't know,—nor care.

We have had a great deal of rain, fine westerly rain, especially last night; and today already there is strong bright summer coming out. You have quite given up Mrs Fraser, then? I know nothing of her house, nor of her; but I shd think a house might be more comfortable to Phoebe and you than a Lodging. However, only don't neglect to come: that is the one point. And so adieu, dear Brother. Yours

T. Carlyle