1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 7 October 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18541007-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 163-164


[ca. 7 October 1854]

… Brompton Churchyard,—once more to that Grave which none of us will ever forget. No sorrow or confusion there; all is still and pure, the Azure of Eternity encompassing all.— The Grave has not yet been covered with Turf; perhaps it is not meant to be so? It lies just as you last saw it; perhaps a child's or other light footprint or two upon the mould, but nothing in the least disorder: the early sun was shining, bright and windless, and here and there a meditative mourner (chiefly women, and only 3 or 4 in all) was gliding about, to or from some shrine the place contained for her.

At breakfast that other doleful little Note,—of the death of Thomas Bell,—was handed in; which to you also will be sad news. To me the occurrence is every way a loss, and is a sorrow to my mind, more than I could have fancied from one I knew so little of. But that also is surely a human Tragedy! The young man dead, the two children dead,1 the Wife like to be dying;—black ashes all, in a little scene which was lately so bright and green. He sent us so handsomely his little Gift of grouse last year [at] this time;2 and now—! He was in all things of a gentlemanly turn; I did think an amiable & pretty man. Poor fellow.— If you write to, or meet, the chief mourner (writer of that Note), pray try if you can in some simple way convey these feelings of mine to him.

Jean's Letter came on Saturday:— Jane, out of medical prophecy, has a theory of her own about the origin of the whitlow! If that be correct, we shall hear better news (we hope) in the course of months! But perhaps you had better be silent too, in the meanwhile.

Adieu, dear Brother. It is going towards five; I have written far more than I counted on; and must now go. You will write to me from Elm Farm.3

Yours ever affectionately

T. Carlyle