July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 16 December 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18581216-TC-JAC-01; CL 34: 250-251


Chelsea, 16 decr, 1858—

Dear Brother,

I hope you got well to Winnington,1 and are enjoying yourself there for a couple of days. Your London life seemed to be very quiescent, much more monotonous & lonesome than I have known in past times. Even of me you could see very little: alas, alas, it is a sad wirrwarr [confusion] this existence we have! But you always keep a cheerful heart,—which I much admire;—it is a real pleasure to me (and often a reproval withal) to see how blandly you welcome all things that come, and take with composure the good and ill that confusedly attends us all. Long may it last,—and right long may you last, to keep me company in this world, where one grows very solitary at these years of mine.

Had it not been for Rowland Hill and his penny, this Note had never been. For it contains nothing; there is no change or event at all, since you last saw me yesterday. I am still struggling, pretty fruitlessly, against my perverse subject, to crush by human force some kind of meaning from the beggarly continents of mechanic pedantry and painful jargon; I have better hopes, outlooks today; but, today too, no actual conquest. I am now going out, after 4 or 5 hours of it; out to walk, horse being at his interval of rest today.

Last night I saw Jamie Aitken: he had just written to you; so I need not say all was going well with him. He looked a shade paler perhaps, but otherwise, it seemed to me, better;—was charged to write hither if anything recurred; to write on Monday at any rate when actually back at his desk. The poor fellow seemed very glad to see me in his little domicile, a trim little place as you said; there was more vivacity in him than he shews here, & he altogether rather pleased me. I stuffed a little of his tobacco into my Neuberg pipe, agt the damp muddy weather, and rode my ways again. The ride, to and from, was in a sort magnificent; magnificently dismal, blazing with splendour, noise, dirt and confusion;—rather slippery at times, but my horse is greatly improved now, and seconds me, like a hero (of 4 feet), on such occasions.— — Jane continues no worse. I got this tagrag of a Prussn Speech2 with a Book from Neubg this morning. My respects to Mr & Mrs Hostage. Glück auf dem Weg unterhin [have a good journey]—

Your affecte Brother,

T. Carlyle