October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO ISABELLA CARLYLE ; 12 November 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18561112-TC-IC-01; CL 32: 28-29


Chelsea, 12 Novr, 1856 —

Dear Isabella,

I stood much in my own light, the other week, when in some hurried moment I wrote to the Dr instead of to yourself, about the sending up of my saddle! I fancied he was still at Scotsbrig; I had not half a moment to spare,—and thought I might kill two birds with one stone. It appears I have missed them both. Nothing of the saddle has yet showed itself in these parts.— Neither indeed is there the least loss hitherto by the delay (for I have not yet got a permanent Horse as I fancied, and am still only in quest of one): however, I do now write to yourself to send up the article so soon as convenience serves; for I am hoping daily to be favoured with some animal to ride on, of which I have great need. I rode one for a week (about the time I wrote to John); but it proved too weak: then I tried another, and its foreleg (one of them) had something wrong: then &c &c—in short I am still seeking by various diligent friends here, and have not yet found.1

I am busy unusually, morning, evening & mid time of day; hardly ever was busier in my life; and not in such case for that kind of thing as would be desirable. If I can hold out, however, I shall get delivered, better or worse, from a Burden that had grown to the intolerable pitch. And that is mainly the good I expect from all this hurlyburly.

Poor Jane is very unwell, these three weeks and more. She has got a cold, which will not let her sleep; hardly any sleep at all to be had: which in the dim unkind weather is very hard upon her, and reduces her strength to a sad degree. I know not positively whether she is yet really any better; but I sometimes hope, of late days, that such is the case.

The Dr wrote from Edinburgh last, and I have lost his address;2 so that he is quite under a cloud to me, and I am getting ill off for news out of Annandale. I keep believing you are about your usual way,—allowing for the winter season on the thinner-skinned of you. I myself see nobody here; and sometimes hardly speak a word (except officially to my poor Clerk or Writing Help)3 all day! This is the time for getting work done in London, when one's acquaintances are mostly all away hunting!—

Affectionate regards to Jamie and the rest. I remain, dear Isabella, Yours as ever T. Carlyle 4