July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 28 December 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18581228-TC-JCA-01; CL 34: 255


Chelsea, 28 decr, 1858—

Dear Jean,

Will you take the inclosed1 on Saturday, Newyearsday (or the day before if you like better), and change it quietly into a little Gift of the Season, whh it will give me pleasure to think of in its way. And except some hint that it is come, write nothing.

I am excessively busy at this moment, and like to be all day, (and alas, many days, and many months!)—so I will add nothing more. You know your constant affection for me, and I know it,—and what endless bother you are at all times ready to take upon you for my sake. If I return all this goodness by insensibility to it,—how very unfortunate an individual must I be!

May the “worst of our years” be past,2 dear Sister; and may Heaven give us wisdom, pious candour and rational discernment of the truth, to do courageously what more may remain to us. Years with their work well done are “happy” years,—the others are not much worth that name, or worth naming at all.

Your affectionate Brother

T. Carlyle

Jim3 was to have dined with the Missus herself on Christmas day (whh was a singular event); but busss intervened at the Office, and “dashed the cup of fame from his brow!”—