1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN; 15 September 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540915-TC-JCA-01; CL 29: 148-149


Chelsea, 15 Septr, 1854

Dear Sister,

I am afraid your whitlow is still in a troublesome way; I begin to long again for the two strokes on the Newspaper, which are still wanting. Pray dictate without delay another word to me by Anne.1 No matter how short; just to tell me how you are getting on. I am in hopes the Surgeon may be wrong as to that of “bits of the bone” coming away; I hope he cannot certainly know that! At any rate tell me; a single line once in the two or three days, till you have your own hand again, would be very welcome;—or, not to trouble you too much, let me say “once in the week, and as short as you like.”

The enclosed Letter came, thro' us, the other day; and has returned this morning, with directions that it be forwarded to you, as now. Jack in the interim had quitted Leamington (the Boys being gone), and run across the country to Malvern, where a “Mrs Wansey” lives,—a kind of Cousin2 of his poor Phoebe's;—he writes me the shortest Note you ever saw from her house (along with this Canada Letter), just about returning to Leaming,3 from which place he will write. Poor soul, he is quite disanchored again; and I daresay is floating about in a very uncertain way. What he will do is very uncertain to me; to himself perhaps almost more.

Alick writes with a mournful tone, yet not an uncomfortable one; and is struggling away as usual.— I myself get on as ill as need be; I mean in regard to doing work,—which would be the solace for all miseries, and without which there is no solace. I cannot see my way at all, at all; I am lost till I do see it.4 God grant me a little particle of strength to chain underfoot the thousand and one impediments from without and from within, that seem to have conspired against me in this the latter stage of my poor existence! But I won't yield either; no! In fact the grand “impediment” is my own weakness; the fault, as ever, lies with myself.5 God bless you, dear Jean. Yours ever T. Carlyle