April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 16 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440716-TC-JWC-01; CL 18: 137-138


Chelsea, Tuesday, 16 july / 1844—

Thanks, Dearest, for thy good little Note, for thy two rose-leaves, for thy kiss—payable on sight! I have not a particle of news, good or bad; but I scribble a line before dinner, according to my wont.

It was very well to stay and hear your music; I like better to fancy you there than at Maryland Street amid the noise and roastbeef. You will not stay long now, I think? Not after you are tired; yet till you are tired. Manchester and the mad Geraldine will not much detain you; and then—I wait at the Railway with a “neat fly,” and Goody is my own again! I hope she will be better too, for this little bit of roaming; she is a stationary creature generally.

Today a great smell of suds issues from the lower regions; I consider it is the bewildered little dottle [small particle] of a body engaged in washing its bits of duds. She is forever busy, just as when you were here; and, tho' there is or can be next to no cleaning of rooms, or work that one can discover as when you were here and the house frequented, she never seems a whit nearer the end of her job. She cooks me my quarter of fowl in an unexceptionable manner, and I do not interfere farther.

I have bought a new pen-knife! At Baring's, being driven to dress in a hurried manner ‘in Mr Buller's room,’ I had left my good old pen-knife lying there, and, after twenty years of service, it is lost to me forever, I fear! I applied to the valet since, who is a most obliging man; expended another shilling on the job, and commissioned him to send me the old knife by post; but nothing comes; I infer that nothing will come, and so have gone again to the shop. Very sorry indeed.— Our ‘Alexis’ too, as you see by the Note, has come to nothing. He is a French miracle of Animal Magnetism, this Alexis, whom all the quality are running after;1—an arrant humbug, as Anthony Sterling who had seen him told me; he is very welcome to fail, forever and a day if he like.

I also, being once in the Ironmonger's shop, procured me a spade; remarkable conquest, if I can make any use of it. The Garden Green is very questionable since the rain: all bushy and luxuriant at the two side[s];2 black, wormy, and hideous (like a scald head) in the middle,—but there too it is now beginning to beard with a kind of new greenness. The Apple-tree will not bear one apple this year! They have all fallen off, the last yesterday; and the foolish inexperienced Tree has taken to blossom again! Observing that distracted tendency, I this morning used the freedom to prune the little fellow; cut away various unsightly lower branches, and said to him, as it were, “Go to wood, then, this year, my lad, and see to get a little higher.” Chalmers3 has mounted an amorphous strawhat,—like a wooden Annandale duddie in shape. Duddie is a dish of turned wood; your Uncle can explain it, I doubt not. Chansellor has renewed the flags4 before his door. Are not these important events?— The Lamberts are loud as ever, and all is rolling on there again, after the old mother has gone her long road. Ay de mi!

How am I ever to do the Coleridges tonight? I half prophesy that I will fall sick, take to Cromwell, and leave them and their twaddle progressing at their own pace devilward! We shall see how the hen-broth agrees with me.— O Goody, Goody, I wish I were in thy pocket, safe. I am ever thy own, what is of me,

T. Carlyle

Could you buy me Cloth for a new summer Coat about Manchester;—something better than black “stuff” or “Orleans Cloth”; cost hardly to exceed ten shillings?— No, I guess you had better not try! Adieu, the hour is here.