The Collected Letters, Volume 13


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 9 September 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410909-JWC-TC-01; CL 13: 249-250


Templand Thursday [9 September 1841]

My dear

You would get a letter from me on Tuesday, I trust—to show at all events that I was not ill— “The devil fly away with” such posts!— I congratulate you on having done your visiting with so little scathe and congratulate myself that I was not with you—the Gorb [unfledged bird] [o]f a Mrs Spedding and “interesting” Mrs James—and all the rest of them in my present state of nervousness would have driven me to despair—

I dare say you are right in proposing to meet me at Dumfries rather than to come on here—this place is so antipathetical to you— My Mother talked of going so far as Dumfries with me at any rate, and so it is “probably just as well”—

For the time; I do not see what good is to be done by staying any longer—now that I have fairly seen my Mother— I have read out all my books, and my slipper begins to be intolerable— Harriet is anxiously expecting me at Tynemouth—Helen anxiou[s]ly expecting me at Chelsea— And so if it suits you I should like to be met on Monday at Dumfries—and forwarded to Carlisle with your earliest convenience— If you are not going yet—it will be all the better that I should get home before you—to spread a little air of comfort over the “Barren Wilderness,” and give you a welcome when you arrive—

I shall be heartily glad to awake some morning and find myself in my own red bed—after all this tumbling ab[o]ut

Helen said some books were come from Mr Frasers and the boy told her he was “very bad—no life expected”— Poor James—how one likes him now! I wrote to Helen yesterday and sent her half a sovereign in case of her being reduced to the horrible predicament of having neither money nor credit!—

That abominable Miss Sedgwick has printed all manner of impertinences about her visit to England—“her impression is that we live in a rather humble way”!1— She complains in speaking of a party at Miss Burdett Coutt's—that there was nothing but black tea at english evening entertainments with cake dry as the remainder biscuit—or IF ice, “in such small quantity”! guzzling American that she is!2— What a pen I have got—and my head is about as bad today.— it rains continually and there is no sufficiency of excercise to be got for digesting the nice things one gets to eat!— Would you bring the little portmanteau to Dumfries with you—to put some things into which must not be crushed in the bag— I wish it were all over— I am the dreadfulest coward become—absolutely I often wish myself dead for the very fear of being alive

But ever affectionately yours

J Carlyle