January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 21 April 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420421-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 159-160


Scotsbrig, 21 April, 1842

My dear Wifie,—It would be a shame not to write half a word to you tonight, now that your Letter of yesterday (of Wednesday) is come; for it will be almost the only good thing I have contrived to get done today. I have shower-bathed, I have dozen on the sofa, wandered over the moor, written a brief necessary Message to America;—and am one day older but neither better, bonnier, nor in any way richer in temporal or spiritual goods. Patience: I have never yet recovered my sleep; I am in the physic line now, and shall gradually recover. A dirty continual headache and uttermost powerless laziness oppress me for the for the1 present. One can only say, it is as good nearly as hearing of Scott Lectures, or attending Cowance parties!2 I have not yet read Mrs Strachey's Letter; nor one that has come from John to my Mother.3

You need not be very apprehensive about the things being injured by carriage: I expect them to turn out very tolerably packed, and to be carried with more care than in the Craigenputtoch case. They will get into the Steamer tomorrow morning, under the eye of the Clerk; and a Railway agent waits at Liverpool, as I understand, to take charge of them there.— I have the two keys of the wardrobe here, which will be the first article you must open: the other keys are stuck into drawers &c, wherever a hole for them could be found. If I myself am not to get up in something like time, I will wrap these two keys in wash-leather, and send them by post.

If Helen4 plague you with any more of her nonsense, do not endure it; instruct me to hire Margaret Hiddleston straightway, and I believe I can manage that. She seems to me a decidedly superior servant to Helen in all particulars whatsoever, and spoke more then once as if she would decidedly rather like to undertake London under your guidance. Her temper seemed excellent; in shifty assiduity, care, expertness she resembled Grace Macdonald,5 yet with a smiling affectionate face;—a little too much sound of voice, and disposition to talk Nithsdale (which was easily repressed too) was the one slight annoyance of her to me, among innumerable good qualities, and helpfulness continued under all circumstances. Certainly we will not lose sight of her:—if at the inevitable moment she were not procurable it would be a great annoyance. Decide and write; there will be time probably before I return to Thornhill, to finish there. I told Margt what Helen's fault was;6 and that it was very likely we should want her (Mt) some day or other.

Tomorrow I have to meet Stewart at Gill; today as I think I told you, would not do. It has been so warm today, that I have stript to my silk waistcoat, and must peel a new pair of drawers or the like, next time I walk. Why does not Cousin Jeannie remember Nodes and the carriage now? Why do you not, Cousin Jeannie! Go to Dulwich Gallery,—providing yourselves with Tickets (to be had for the asking) at Colnaghi's7 in Pall Mall East. You can go without any man, if, as I should think improbable, you cannot readily find one. Go, I tell you, you lazy gypsies! The temperature is a perfect roast now, and you complain of cold!— Sale of old pianos is as bad as other sales; Creek will not break down under the weight of the money balance. Adieu Dearest; with the setting sun I take leave of thee.

Ever affectionately /

T. Carlyle