January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO JANE WILSON ; 7 January 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430107-TC-JWI-01; CL 16: 9-10


Chelsea, 7 jany, 1843—

Dear Miss Wilson,

Thanks, hearty tho' in the utmost hurry, for your good kind Note of yesterday. How happy for me too, were I on the Malvern Hills, with the green earth under me, the eternal sky over me, and God's Silence round me, that I might consider deeply of many things! Instead of Belial's Tumult,1 in which one can consider nothing! Ballad-singers, “without food for the last three weeks,” bray under my windows; an enchanted young lady drums her hapless piano to no purpose on the other side of the wall,—an emblem to me of a whole world enchanted; possessed by Falsities—(Devils as they used to be called); following merely one another and the Devil! Truly one had need to be a “man of genius” to do anything considerable here.—

Yesterday I straightway despatched your order to the Booksellers; explaining it, as I hope, to the meanest capacity. On the first Monday of every month, what is called “Magazine Monday,” any London Bookseller can with perfect ease do such a feat as you require: but these people of mine, “Chapman and Hall, 188 Strand,” have superior facilities for conveyance; and probably can manage directly what you want. I impressed upon them your probably speedy return to Town,—which I myself wanted to believe. I sent them a Cover with your Address, in which they were to announce to you what they had found it possible to do; and where the Book, if any Book, was to be inquired for in Wor'ster or Malvern. There is little doubt but it will be all right.

John Sterling has alarmed us all by a new hemorrhage,—rupture of a blood-vessel, brought on by most imprudent useless over-working of himself; “lifting of tables,” they say, “to save servants trouble”! He lies very weak, but happily thought out of danger for the present; and will have to lie, the Doctor says, for at least a month to come.

Well; I think you had better [come?] back to London now, Belial's tumult tho' it be! My Wife, who is pretty will for her, sends you and Mr Wilson many salutations along with me.2 “May the worst of our years be past”: that used to be poor Edward Irving's toast.3 Ulysses says to his men, “Endure, O friends”;4—and all Sea-Captains and effectual persons still say, “Bear a hand, be alive there!”

I remain, dear Miss Wilson, in hope to see you soon,

Yours ever truly (in endless haste!)

T. Carlyle