April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 6 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440706-TC-JWC-01; CL 18: 108-109


Chelsea, Saturday, 6 july, / 1844—

Yes, Dearest, here is your good little Letter today, and all is right! Yesterday Helen kept “wondering” why Mrs Carlyle had not written; wished “she might be well,” “most mysterous” &c &c,—enough to provoke any one not of firmest nerve, into some discomposure. I was obliged to check her at last, for she was really fretting me.

What could have detained the Times? I put it with my own hand upon the Postmaster's Counter (too big for his slit) in fair time. Surely Sir James1 does not detain Newspapers? Poor Sir James: you may let them praise him in Maryland Street, you unbeschasiblich ruhig [arrogantly quiet one]; he is down in the gutters here, and all the world spitting on him. I believe indeed he is getting far too much, having been unluckier than others, as I often say, rather than radically worse in that particular.

Yesterday so soon as I had done my Note to you, and was thinking to be out, the skies opened again, and said No. “Get ready the Chop and potatoes.” I sat down to read in my Cromwell Rubbish-Books. After dinner, Perry with the stealthiest ring at the bell came backing in; I paid him his rent, and with difficulty got him out again and the gob of him closed. The rain still continued; and so did I, reading my old rubbish-book;—not sleeping, no, nor thinking of it! I have a thought of restricting myself to one chop in future.

Tea over, the skies closed again; about 8 o'clock, I had myself carried into Piccadilly over the glar of our Chelsea roads; and there rushed forth over the clean pavements, far and wide; penetrated—to where think you?—to the Regent's Park and Lockhart's,2 being wishful of a little human speech. Lockhart tho' it was only 5 minutes past 9 had “gone to his bedroom Sir,”—not unwell; he always retires then Sir, when dinner is done! Not a bad plan, I imagine.—I then called for the Macreadies (not mentioning that it was ‘then,’ but leaving it supposable that I came on purpose): the three women3 were sitting very still, with seams and two candles, in their dining room; I sat and talked really very pleasantly with them for about an hour: Miss Macready seems to me a truly good woman; the whole aspect of the House was full of cleanliness, clearness, placidity. Darwin had told them of Bölte's dismissal from Grahamdon: that thing should really never have been mentioned. Dickens, it appears, on all the Letters he wrote after the ‘explosure,’ put something à la Childs on the back!4 He is gone to Italy, poor little man, as your missive indicates.5 To Marseilles, then to Genoa. Good luck to him, poor little Dickens; there is something very good and gifted in him, and in his lot are tragic elements enough capable of unfolding themselves.

It will be a great relief to the poor Goody to get her mouth opened again, and that pent reservoir of Liberalism emitted! Really it is too bad to be plagued in these days with any debate about Sir James Graham and Co; there are quite other considerations and questions opening around us at this o'clock. Let the dead bury their dead.— However, the uncle is so honest and brave a man, it beseems the niece to let him have his way and not to call a Coach.

You will get no Letter on Monday, for none can be sent on Sunday; I wish before Tuesday (that means for you, Tomorrow) you would send me the right address of Pauletdom; at present I know only “—Paulet Esq, Seaforth, Liverpool,” which I suppose would do, but it will be better to have his first name too.— — Baringdom for tomorrow causes a shudder; the weather too is bad, and my health improving: Stava bene, per star meglio, sto qui!6

I have a Letter to write to Jack, various Letters to write; this to the Burns Festival I have just written. Wretched mortals! The Sister of Burns7 about a year ago could hardly be rescued from starving.— Bless thee poor Dear

T. C.

You got the Punch with the Letter yesterday? I will enclose no more in that manner!—