January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 23 October 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18591023-TC-JAC-01; CL 35: 239-241


Chelsea, 23 Octr, 1859

My dear Brother,

You are very good to write to me when I cannot write: yr ansr to my mute message was welcome last monday,—one of the few uses poor Morris and his Raphael1 can well come to in this world!— I calculated on writing Friday, yesterday, and before either of these dates: but, as usual, unexpected intricacies rose in the interim. My daily riding consumes all my spare time: in the evening I am wearied out, good for nothing but reading, idly or not quite idly: to trim my lights and mount up to this gaunt shop (grown very cold too, of late nights) requires a great effort. My case is still worse when “daundering individuals,” chiefly stupid fellows, come in upon me:—I have no resource then but walk them out; whh I generally soon do!

I am certainly a small thot better for my long rustication; fresher, sometimes slightly clearer for my chaotic Task,—to whh I lie with all my available strength; working as if it were to break prison; whh it truly is. Were I once thro’ it alive, I calculate on gradually getting a little less feckless, a little less miserable; that is all my hope now.— Jane has evidently got a considerable relief by her Expeditn; she goes out twice weekly in a brougham (“neat fly”), walks a little, omnibuses a little, if the weather favour; sleeps better, is fresh and lively in comparison, tho’ still of extreme weakness. Let us be thankful, and hope! My horse seems to be getting brisk nearly as of old, we are on the best terms; and go sauntering and cantering alternately every day in the week but one. A dirty gum-boil is one of my sorrows too: it has been here thrice or twice before at the same season; fruit of riding in the damp twilight, I count it to be. My work makes some progress; perhaps I may begin printing (slowly) with the New Year! Bronchitis, not very bad, comes and goes; loose veins2 somewhat in abeyance:—thus I play my poor part. It wd give me great pleasure were you here, on good terms! “Coming up on a little busss” will itself naturally be a welcome thing to me. How I wish you had some settled right habitatn;—how you wish it, for that matter!

Neuberg is very poorly; bilious, hemorrhoidal &c miseries hanging on the poor man. He is working for me; or wd willingly be, if he could. Thackeray is to do a new Magazine; has applied to me;3 one of my climbings upstairs was to say handsomely, “No, can't at all.” Scott, I judge, must be out of that adventure.4 Chorley5 for the first time called yesterday; wearisome, grating, as if sawing one,—tho far from meaning it. He inquired dutifully abt you. Mackintosh6 rode with me one day: I hardly remember to have seen any other. Ashburton not yet come; “going to Egypt for the winter again,” I am told.— Tell Jamie (my dear good quietly enduring Jamie!) he need be in no over-haste abt the meal, nor send above 2 stone or so of it: Jane alone sups on porridge; I dine too late.— I will add a word tomorrow:7 adieu for this day. Yr Affecte T. Carlyle