April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 22 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440722-JWC-TC-01; CL 18: 153-155


Monday [22 July 1844]

Dearest— I have no letter from you this morning—in the course of nature none was to have been looked for from London—but there might have come one from Manchester. Perhaps Geraldine did not go on to Manchester on Saturday after all but back to Seaforth—to flirt with a Mr Teló—a brute of a man whom she is doing the impossible to inspire with a grand passion—or perhaps she was in no haste to forward it and it may still come by the afternoon post—or perhaps there was no letter to forward—but that is not likely—considering my Good's extraordinary punctuality—

In any case it does not signify very much since I am to see him please God tomorrow night— Helen has just been to enquire about the trains, and I am to go by the one which leaves at half after 10 in the morning and arrives in London at a quarter after nine (so they say—but it is not likely they should be able to predict to a nicety) And now about coming to meet me with “a neat fly”— I think that would be a risk—suppose that in the confusion of people we should miss each other—or suppose that I should miss the train (not likely as I am notoriously always too soon for every train) or that I should awake tomorrow with one of my even down headachs (not likely either as I can generally “stave them off” when I have grandes choses a faire—but one should take in all possibilities) suppose then any of these contretemps to take place and you then waiting with a fly!—we should both of us be doubly vaixed— So that I vote for your staying quietly at home—and having tea ready for me—and trusting to my own tried powers of taking care of both myself and luggage— I shall be so glad to get back again—and I only wish the journey were over—if “association of ideas” should make me sea-sick—tomorrow again! But we hope better things tho we thus speak—

I am rather knocked up today—my stewing in that church yesterday morning—and my visit to the Martineaus at night were too much for one day—not that the visit bored me like the sermon On the contrary it was far too enlivening I found there the clergyman who had preached to me in the morning—and three other men—and there was a great deal of really clever speech transacted, which was the more exciting that one is not in the habit of it here. If you had heard me “putting down virtue and all that sort of thing” in opposition to the sermon I had been forced to listen to in the morning—you would have wondered where I had found the impudence—as for the arguments I got them of course all out of you— But the best of all was to hear James Martineau backing me out in all that—almost as emphatically as yourself could have done—in taking me down to supper he said with a heavy sigh “that it was to be hoped the world would have soon heard the last of all that BOTHERATION 1 about virtue and happiness”! He is anything but happy I am sure—a more concentrated expression of melancholy I never saw in a human face— I fancy him to be the victim of Conscience—which is next thing to being the victim of green tea!— His heart and Intellect both protest against this bondage—and so he is a man divided against himself— I should like to convert him—moi!— If he could be reduced into a wholesome state of spontaneous blackguardism for six months he would “come out very strong”— But he feels that there is no credit in being (spiritually) jolly in his present immaculate condition and so he is as sad as any sinner of us all. But what am I chattering for at this rate when I am to be home tomorrow

Yours own /


Please to notice if a newspaper come to me from Thornhill—I expect one for a token