January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JANET CARLYLE HANNING ; 7 January 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590107-TC-JCHA-01; CL 35: 5-7


Chelsea, London, 7 jany, 1859—

Dear Jenny,

I got your Letter acknowledging receipt of the Book;1 I have more than once got news of you that were welcome, since I wrote last; tho’ in general I tried to make some other of our kinsfolk give you notice. Indeed I have been inexpressibly busy for months and for years,—with that frightful Book, and other burdens that lay heavy on me: I have in general lived perfectly alone; working all day, with what strength remained to so grey a man, then rushing out in the dusk to ride for a couple of hours, then home again to Books &c: it was seldom that I had leisure to write the smallest Note; indeed I wrote none except upon compulsion,—and never wrote so few in the same length of time on any terms before. I am again busy, at the Two remaining volumes; almost as busy and miserable as ever: but I cannot go on thinking of you (as you need not doubt I have often enough done) without some time or other writing; and here has the time at last come, by an effort of my own!

You must take this enclosed Paper to some Bank (John says “any Bank in Canada” will do, and “perhaps even give a premium”); the Bank will change it into Canadian money (with or without a “premium”); and my little Jenny is to accept it as a small Newyears Gift from her Brother.2 That is all the practical part of this present Letter. My blessings conveyed along with it, if they could be of any avail, are known to you I hope always without writing.

Your messenger, a very honest-looking young man,3 called with the Photographs of the two Lasses; whom I could hardly recognise, such strapping Hizzies were they grown:4 this is a long while since; I carried the Photographs into Annandale with me,5 where also they were interesting: Mary, at the Gill, now has them, I believe.6 Give my affectionate remembrances to the two Originals, whom I always remember as little Bairns, tho’ they are now grown big: may a blessing be on them, whatever size they grow to; and may their lot be that of good and honourable women, useful in their day and generation,7 and a credit to those connected with them!— I am very glad to hear what you say of your Household; and judge that you are doing well tho’ not so rich as some are. A little money before one's hand is very useful; but much is not needed. It is written “the hand of the diligent” does find chances, and “maketh rich,”8—or rich enough. Give my best wishes to your Husband:9 my best encouragements to persevere in well-doing.

The Dr was here a while ago; but he is off to Annandale again. He has four young Stepsons (children of his late wife),10 who form his main employment in late years, and give him much writing, and running about, with their schooling and affairs. The Austins, it was settled lately, are to stay in the Gill, for another 7 years;11 whh we were very glad of. Scotsbrig12 and the other farmers, are prosperous,—a good time for farmers; owing to new railways (I think) and California gold:13 whh are resources that will not last forever. Jean too & hers14 are well; her eldest son, Jamie, is, since some months, a Clerk in a good mercantile House here,15 and does very well: the Doctor, his uncle, procured him the place. My Jane has been very weakly for two winters past, but is a little stauncher this winter; a great blessing to us. I sent some Books the other day to Alick's Tom;16 to Alick's self there went a Frederick, at the same time as yours; but I have yet heard nothing of it, tho’ I persuade myself it too is safe. My love to them by the first opportunity. God bless you all! T. Carlyle