August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 11 September 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570911-TC-JAC-01; CL 33: 76-77


Chelsea, Friday 11 Septr, 1857

My dear Brother,

Jane came home to me on Wedy Evg: I picked her up at King's Cross, out of the Express Train; and have her safe here again. She is evidently a little better in health; looks a good deal fresher: but is still very weak, and delicate for colds; we must from1 the winter on these terms,—taking every precaution we can.

Today, ever since yesternight, has been wet; such a deluge, all day, as I have seldom seen. It seems now about fairing; and I aimed at a walk; but, alas, dinner is in 1/4 hour, and a run over to the Post-Office will be all I shall get.

I am kept inexpressibly busy, every moment occupied, correcting proofs, writing, riding, bothering;—if I can hold out for a year at this rate, I shall be thro': that is the one comfort I have. If;—but the thought of the long miles, day after day for such a time, sometimes frightens the old roadster! I must do my best and wisest; & I will never engage in any other work of the kind, were I once out of this! I often say, the fee-simple of the Prussian Kingdom & the one next to it, wd not hire me to do this over again!—

All persons are out of Town; that is one furthersome point. Tait (I did not expect to hear of him at Scotsbrig)2 has been busy as a bee, all summer almost, painting the diningroom downstairs,—‘toning’ it, taking the portraiture of every spot of it;—not at all strikingly like, when he quitted it for his travels. Will be of great use to him, he seems to think “a hundred years hence.” Maybe so, or not; but it is very much the reverse at present!— — Brigadier Mackenzie is going off towards India3 (by Töplitz,4 the Tyrol5 &c) tomorrow; comes hither to us tonight,—I hope no Proofs will come along with him! Sensible men (a smallish company here) are shocked and alarmed at these Indian phenomena. Very disgraceful to England (to English Officership in particular, and the English style of “Army”), I shd say, first of all. But what can we do in it, or say? If England will be taught it may still be well; if not, not well.

Ann is ready with ‘the chops,’ or whatever it is. My love to Jamie and all the House.

Yours affectionately / T. Carlyle