April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 27 June 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440627-TC-JWC-01; CL 18: 88-90


Chelsea, Thursday [27 June 1844] 3 p.m.

Thanks, Dearest, for your good Little Letter and the good news it brings. None of your noises annoy me,—I am far enough off, and quiet enough too, for that matter! If you can get sleep, it will all do very well; if not, nothing will.

How unhappy am I to be, you little gypsy? I suppose I am about unhappy enough at present. I am sad enough, if that will do anything for you. “The History of Panizzi, M'am is this”:1 Went out yesterday to walk, after sealing your Note. Did not get in again till far too late,—towards six, in fact. Dined on tough greasy corned-beef odious to the soul,—had taken a pill, took punch, fell asleep, continued sleeping after tea was brought in,—was at last awoke by Helen about half past eight; tea cold, and night setting in! You know the rest; the creature took to working again, continued that, after a sort, till past one. Breakfast this morning at half past 7 again; and here we are!— The Story of Panizzi Ma'am is that.

The reason of my lateness yesterday was accidental. I had one errand, to call at the Dover-Street Stanleys';2 ordering shop-goods by the way. Near Belgrave Square, Anthony Sterling put his arm in mine; volunteered to walk with me. At Dover-Street, blessing Heaven, I found a card suffice: there remained ten minutes to spare. I turn, still with Anthony, to the Library,3 having half a word to speak there. At the door we find Wm Cunningham who will not let me go till “I have looked at his Picture;—half a minute will do!”— Yes, but it turns out to need a shilling also and I determine on glancing over the Gallery at large for my money!4 Thus you see———Oimè [Alas]!

Cunningham's Raphael is very excellent, gem-like as you say: but I think I should be very rich to give one thousand for it. The Correggio Christ is all you called it too: a think5 to be cut into pork-sausages if one found it alive. These Christs in Picture-Galleries are a real nuisance. The Reynolds Portraits were about as good to me as anything else I saw.6 Cunningham, in a proud shy way, asked me to dine with him on Saturday: “Already engaged”; to which Anthony kindly added that I was the most dyspeptic of all animals.

Coming along, before meeting Cunningham, we came athwart Empson7 in St James's Street; melancholy, in a white hat too big for him. I thought of stopping, but he evidently did not see. A few yards farther on came a brougham,—and your venerable lover,8 really in a very woe-begone state; who saluted eagerly. Nothing more did I see that was not as mere shadows and noises to me.

By the bye I begin to feel horribly abeigh [distant] about Saturday,9—I am up to nothing! I hope they have horses at least, and will give one a ride.

Here is an excellent Punch just arrived; full of Grahamisms.10 Consider Childs's new cover too!11 I have cut off nothing from the Punch that concerned Graham, or anybody.— Why do I write such stuff daily! O my dear, my dear,—my own little Jeannie! God be with thee, my poor Bairn. Ewig [Eternally]

T. C.