April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 29 June 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440629-TC-JWC-01; CL 18: 93-95


Chelsea, Saturday [29 June 1844]

A thousand thanks, my Dearest, for the good little Note! It is the first friendly word I have heard this week; and I had need enough of it; and it has done me a world of good!— I do not feel up to Barringdom today; I must give a shilling,1 and send off to Charles Buller to make my excuse. In fact, with my ‘solitude’ &c, and being ‘unhappy enough,’ I feel quite worn away. Perhaps I may go tomorrow ‘when I am not bound to,’—if I chance to be better. But the weather is horribly hot again; yesterday moreover, I had to take coffee in the afternoon too,— you know what that means! I had or might have traced the thing coming on since before you went. My work is my only comfort: Ach Gott!— I have spoken hitherto almost nothing; and do not feel an inclination to speak,—never had a wish to send!

On thursday evening, as I sat moody but diligent and composed, there came in upon me,—whom think you, while so many noble and agreeable persons were courteously respecting my solitude?—the wretched Edinburgh Dud, Russell or something is the name of him, whom Haddington Brown had introduced the other day: he, a second time, with a still more wretched Edinburgh Dud introduced by him, and little Masson to herald them!2 A precious three to be selected from the whole Population of this world. Miserable snaffles too, full of animal magnetism, free kirk and other mere rubbish;—I had some doubts whether not to rise with red hot oaths, and pack them all instantly into the street. I gave them tea; but in my rage as I best could (for Dud the Second was inclined to Edinburgh logic even!),—then took my hat, saying I must “go to Kensington”; which I did, to the lanes of Kensington, and walked the whole three out, instead of kicking them out. Ceci devient trop fort [This becomes too strong], it beats Yankeedoodledoodom itself. I must take extreme care how I write one line more, or bestow one look more, on that illustrious Brown,—who it seems to me wants common-sense very much, for one thing, and I doubt is not unlikely to go all into thrums in that Edinr situation of his. World's wonder in Edinburgh: how infinitely safer to be World's Zero in Edinr, as I used to be!— One of Cavaignac's snorts is all one can say of such things. That visit was the beginning of my sorrows; saddened me to the very heart.

Yesterday I had Helps; “Not to dinner, ah no—I cannot!”—whereupon the poor man walked out with me; poor Helps! We met Christie:3 there is to be another Debate about the Letter Business on Tuesday Evg;4 they will not rest, I suppose, till they overset it altogether. The feeling, I suppose, is universal: see Ballantyne's Letter too, received today.

In my absence yesterday, John Fergus had called; Elizabeth had been before, to ask me to meet him at dinner on saturday: “Already engaged.” His arrival was sudden, so I suppose will his departure be.— A quantity of Books from Chapman's, and one most splendidly bound, with that adjoined Note in it. A la bonne heure [Well and good].— Colman's is today;5 the answer “No,” with suppressed shrieks.—

I know not the “Child of Hale,” but will keep him in my eye now. Poor Mrs Paulet ought not to have been salivated!— O my dearest little Necessary Evil, ach Gott in Himmel [O God in Heaven]!—Keep thy little self quiet at any rate, and come back to me better. On monday I hope to write better, and feel better. Adieu, adieu, my own little Life-Partner!

T. C.

Chuzzlewit is done; but too weighty for post: a shilling will buy it as easily.6 Trash, trash, the penny-vriter!7