January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 9 July 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430709-TC-JWC-01; CL 16: 253-255


Llandough, 9 july, 1843—(Sunday Evening late).

My Dearest,

I sat today on a board stool among trees at the end of the house on an elevated level, reading Accorombond vol 2 (a dreadful piece of work on Tieck's part!)—smoking at due intervals, and looking out into my silent bits of wood and meadow, under the grey lukewarm sky: one of the stillest Sunday mornings I ever spent or figured. The public road, within few yards of distance, was altogether hidden, cut into the side of the the rising ground, so that I merely heard Welsh voices, at times, and then all again grew still as Hades. Redwood was at his office: ach Himmel [O Heaven], he returned at 2 o'clock; set me on horseback, galloped me over precipitous roads, bathed me in stony seas, made me drink two glasses of champagne (it being Sunday), in short, bored me, the good man, till I had enough of it and more! No tea is procurable till near five hours after dinner here. Tea done, I have fled up stairs to a kind of closet nearly insupportable with back-smoke,1 and have there written Letters to all people ever since! To Thirlwall (half accepting),—to Richardson, to Nickisson with the sonnet, to Bradford Forster,2—and now to my own Goody. Blessings on her: the big Letter which Redwood brought me today was a cheap price for all his dulness afterwards: it is the blithest thing I have seen since I came hither. A thousand thanks to thee! The sealed Letter inclosed (why did not you open it?) was an invitation3 to dine with the Chevalier and Madame Bunsen for Saturday, including John if he were present!

The infatuated R. kindest and most wearisome of men, insists on making me quite happy tomorrow; and so will have me down to St. Donat's and spend the whole day upon the coast: what an outlook! He has three days more of riding among the mountains; he is a curious man. A kind of Henry Taylor without the genius! Solemn mouthing and emphasis in speech; regularity as of machinery in meal-times, shower-bathings &c, diligent land-practice with plenty of cash, and seemingly total isolation from all men; a curious character;—most worthy, most courteous, kind and good, were he not such a terrible bore! I will stand him as long as I can; till towards the end of this week at least. The lodging at St. Donat's will not do: clay floors, desolation, savagery, neither market nor post,—and not even independent after all; for I do not see how R. could be quitted in that way without cutting him to the heart. Let us be quiet, then; let us learn to stand boring too: a man cannot have blessed green fields, kind welcome and board and lodging for nothing!— Enough of all that.

The wretched crotchet of a Cuittikins Bishop!4 Let him rest under his ecclesiastic shovel;5 he has missed the meaning of life, or we know nothing of it. There is something tolerable in such a man, something pitiable even praiseworthy,—but it ought to be at a distance chiefly!

Worse, far worse, what is this I hear about your sleeping! Are you going to get into your old watchful state again? I pray you despatch those pumice stones about their business if they tend that way. We cannot have houses painted, at the expense of Goodies!— I do entreat thee, endeavour to sleep. And do not say endeavouring will do nothing. Endeavouring will do much, if you begin it far enough off. Send me better news of that; and I will praise thee more for Pope's Head Ahoy6 and all the rest of it!

John talks of coming on to London, as you see. We could put him into the house. But I suppose he and I will meet at Liverpool first.

Poor Mazzini! He ought really to go to Switzerland, or into Wales, or somewhere altogether lose himself for a space of twelve months. I noticed the want of his Article in the Review Advertisement7 with real regret for him.

Thomas Carlyle of Berlin is really what they call there a sonderbaver [strangely wonderful] Christ. To pass himself off for a man that has a devil: it is too bad! Let him be doing nevertheless; it will all come right for both of us by and by; and for me it is not far wrong even as it is.—

Poor old Mrs Redwood, she is still up in the lower story (I hear), and possibly I am keeping her up. R. has gone by to bed some time ago. The poor old Dame, a most excellent simple Quakeress, of few words, and few ideas I must cease; and send thee a kiss in thot;—a “puir revenge.”8——— Such a Letter as todays I cannot hope for above once in a week; write, write what thou canst.

Ever affectionately /

T. Carlyle