1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 13 October 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18541013-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 167-168


Chelsea, 13 Octr 1854—

My dear Brother,

I was very glad to hear of your precise locality again; I hope to hear something farther, and more in detail, before long,—tomorrow perhaps? Alas, Moffat is a changed place to you; a sadly changed place even to me when I think of it! But we must not look too much behind; we must do what is at hand and ahead; our life, and what we have to do, is still ahead. It will give me great comfort indeed to hear that you have gathered yourself well together, and made a wise arrangement for still profiting by your future years.

At present I have not a moment: the Painter Tait, returned from Germany, is just come in; and is sitting upon Jane's patience, till I dress, and go out with him. I would not let the Friday's post go without one little word.

We are living as heretofore; “nothing” the matter. I have been several times at the State-Paper Office, looking after my weary problem: God help me with it. If I live, I must get thro' it; in one form or another, it is my faith, there comes good fruit out of all good labour;—and probably part of this is good!1

One rather strange thing I must announce. Lord Ashburton came here, unexpectedly, one morning; hot from the Highlands (on some sudden errand, connected with dangers in the money market, I imagine); he was to return in 48 hours; and I did not see him again. He wore a respectable really rather handsome beard: once, in a careless way, I had said, last year, if he adopted a beard, I wd follow: he now claimed my promise, Jane and he combining; I admitted the promise, the desirability &c, but strove to postpone; on a sudden he calls Jane to him, goes up to my bedroom,—takes away all my razors; has them now with him, sealed up!— It is a fact, I am now 4 days witht shaving, and in very questionable mood about it,—tho' I do save half an hour daily by the job; and see no way out, except to let the hirsute process go on!2— Give my kind remembrances to Mr Riddle.3 I mean to write to Brother James, and have meant for some time. Adieu dear Brother. Your affecte

T. Carlyle