1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 18 September 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540918-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 150-151


Chelsea 18 Septr, 1854—

My dear Brother,

I have this minute got your Letter,—came by the one-o'clock delivery, I suppose;—and have already locked it in my drawer, not without a sad enough feeling. Of course I will sacredly attend to it, should the chance, which is not according to the order of nature, ever summon me: may Heaven forbid!— Meanwhile you will do well to put the arrangement into some authentic law-binding form so soon as ever you are a little in composure again.

I am glad to hear of your going to Mr Hostage's:1 you will at once be among good people that can sympathize with your loss (and encourage you to speak about the past and the future), as well as start you upon acting what things are necessary in consequence of it, which latter is your chief solacement just now. I also think clearly you will do well not to withdraw your hand from those poor Boys; but to reserve for yourself, with due caution, and regard to all the intricacies of the situation, the privilege of interfering with any help that may be possible to you. But think it over on all sides, before you practically determine the How; it is possible enough there may troubles arise, one is not certain of the contrary in any condition or position; and your power of extricating yourself from all misconception ought always to be complete.2

Today I had to send you a word at any rate: Jean's Letter, which came this morning, being ordered to be forwarded to you. She does not seem to be well at all, with that finger of hers; nor to be well related to her Doctor which also is an uncomfortable thing. I know nothing about the man: but may not slitting open the finger be really a necessary operation? Or is it, in any case, only a furthersome one; the wound only healing more slowly if it is not done? If you can give her any clear advice on that matter— But in fact I suppose nobody can who had not seen the case with his eyes. She might go to the Gill, and amuse herself with reading?— I hope you will write to her one of these days. To us you will write when you go to Cheshire, at latest. Ever your affectionate Brother

T. Carlyle