August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 2 November 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18571102-TC-JCA-01; CL 33: 109-110


Chelsea, 2 Novr, 1857—

Dear Sister,

I have not forgotten you; farther than ever from that. I daily eat of your bounty, and with much more thankfulness than you might fancy by my silence. That dainty Package, it was very kind of you, and very “spirited”: I am only sorry you shd have had such bother:—but indeed there is no good thing to be done on other terms. I am pleasantly called home into loving circles by these Gifts; and that is what you intended with them.

But ever since that Box came, I have been so driven as you never saw or cd imagine; worse than ever just about this time. It has lasted now above twelve-months, life of a hare before hounds;—and there is still a long course ahead! However, if I can hold out till May next, the First Part1 will be done (2 thick Volumes then): and I shall fairly get to some rest again. A long effectual spell of rest; as far from this tremendous Babel and its noises as I can get,—and till I am quite tired of resting! We are just getting out of the First Vol. now;—in fact, the back of the thing is broken, were I rid of this immediate coil of confusions. Courage!—

Jane keeps up; very weakly; but takes no cold yet, and manages endurably in the matter of sleep. I too seem to be about my usual state,—thanks chiefly to my Horse, I think. Nobody can be more regular and diligent.

The good Jim must not think of London and me;2 he cannot be of the least use here;—and at any rate I would by no means lead him away from his right pursuit. Let him hold on steadily: he is a really good lad (so far as I can construe him); and he need not doubt good is ahead of him, if he persevere. The other day a wretched Glasgow Clerk3 “intent on Literature” &c called (not admitted), then wrote;—I subjoin his Note; whh burn, and say nothing to Jim of it. Love to all.

Yours ever affectionate T. Carlyle