1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 27 June 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550627-TC-JAC-01; CL 29: 340-341


Chelsea, 27 june, 1855—

Dear Brother,

I doubt, you think me very careless; but that is not it. The day your Letter came I could not get to that Hyde Park region where the Bookseller; one Howe, a Nova Scotia Politician1 came stumbling in upon me, and I had to take another direction of walk (for the sake of handsome riddance) and return by omnibus. Yesterday I did go to the Place; found nothing but confusion worse confounded,2 the man not there himself, only a poor little Boy (his son) with bleary red-bordered eyes, who knew not his right hand from his left, could find neither of the Books, knew not what his Father would come,—and in fact apparently to have little more sense in the business than my poor little Nero, who also stood looking into it. By examining with my own eyes I found the Rural Rides price 3/6, no great shakes of a Copy; but the Cottage Economy3 was and remained indiscoverable; and I rather guess it may be sold since you saw it. Of Guicciardin4 I did not dare to whisper a hint to such an Oracle of Delphi:—all I could do was to demand his Father's name, whh you said wd itself have sufficed you; and whh at least was easily got. Here is the Card inclosed: if that will still do, well; if you want me to try it again, I will at once do my best on your order.— There was once, about 25 years ago, a Copy of the Cottage Economy about the house; and perhaps Jamie may have already read it among the others:—but alas, alas, there change many things in the space of 25 years!5

We are getting very warm weather here within the last two or three days; strangely cold for the season, up to that. My sleep seems to grow rather worse; my progress in work not better: I generally believe I ought to make a run to the sea-side; and should be glad (wretch that I am!) to darn myself into any inaccessible hole where rustic food was to be had, and sea-air and sleep! But that cannot quite yet be; nor is it yet quite indispensable. I have on[e]6 Chapter to finish, or rather to rough-hew, and will then sink seriously of it.— Thanks for your account of Scotsbrig; kind regards to Jamie, Isabella and the Bairns, not forgetting your own Two.— I have not yet got any work done (Notes to write, “Teagling” &c,—id[l]e7 “cool-the-loom” myself!)—and must now begin!— Yours ever

T. Carlyle