July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO CHARLES BUTLER ; 23 September 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580923-TC-CBU-01; CL 34: 198-199


Chelsea, London, 23 Septr 1858—

My dear Sir,

I have been roving about in Germany, absent in Scotland &c; and did not till last night get hold of your valuable little Note, dated “12 Augt New York,” with the symbol of Fourteen Pounds Sterling in it. You are very punctual always; and I am sorry not to respond (as has been my fate the two last times)1 with the corresponding promptitude. Pray believe me that it is the effect of accident, and that I shall do better in time coming.

I have not been here before since the end of june:2 I fled to Scotland at that date, having got the dreary first instalment of my Book3 rolled off my hands, and myself not killed by it; I lay absolutely dormant there for two good months, in hopes I was considerably mending; then came this sore expedition into Germany (“sight of Friedrich's Battlefields,” forsooth), whh has lasted into the fifth week,—and left me with a profound headache, this morning, for one thing.— — My Wife is still in Scotland; but is expected now in a day or two: she has been in poor health again; but professes, good soul, to have fortified herself a little against the coming winter, in those quiet native regions. I believe, too, I myself am rather better; in spite of the horrors of German Travelling, the greasy tepid cooking, the preternatural beds (or torture-beds), and other practical stupidities of that good Country,—acting on a man of distracted nerves! Better or worse, I must try to begin work again, and get to the end of this forlorn task of mine.

I have now again about £1,000,4 whh I could wish to invest safely and well. Our Banks are safe; but yield only 3 (or perhaps 2½) per cent; whh I believe to be below the real value of ready money to mankind in our day. Certainly it is very far below what you get me for it in America,5—with “safety” even thro' such a crash as we lately had.6 Pray give this matter a little true consideration for me; greedy of gain I am not; greedy of security and absence of bother I am. If you judge America the fit place, pray write and say how I can transmit you the £1,000.—Adieu, with many thanks.— T. Carlyle