January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 27 July 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450727-TC-JWC-01; CL 19: 110-112


Dear little Goody,—Thy clever bits of Letters are a great cordial to me; equal to sparkling champagne in a forenoon, and much wholesomer! I do indeed require a word of encouragement; being very much “detached” in my solitary workshop here.

The “Prussian” whose name I could not read in the little Note never made his appearance at Addiscombe: this morning, on reconsidering the matter, I discovered for myself that he had been Everett the American Ambassador!1 Probably just as well.— I got to the place between five and six; swift but uneasy riding. Buller there, the constant quantity: Everett, a dull Senior (who I told you nearly cut me at the Gordons',—always to me a dull man),2 these two and a Ld Granville Somerset, an old little crooked man,—come ‘from the Plantagenets’ or the Devil knows what; a very cheery little old Tory man,3 the only person I ever saw thoroughly good-humoured with a stature of about 4 feet, and a back round as my shield,—only not a true round; severely humped in fact. We did well enough—considering. The first night I slept wretchedly ill; got up however and had a long gallop in the morning, over the beautifullest breezy downs, thro' shady lanes &c &c, which did me an immense good; last night I slept pretty well, till at half past seven, the man came to me;—I was here, safe home, with the day's exercise laid in too, soon after nine. All right with the little busy bee;4 who is still white-washing extensively. She has got me a fowl; cut it in four, and is boiling soup.— My visit was not, in these circumstances, the very best of joys; but one ought to be content with it. I had a great deal of talk with Everett; who surprises one much,—as a thorough drawling Yankee in manner, yet with intelligence and real gentlemanhood looking thro' it.5 We got to the top of no haystacks this time: the Lady seemed somewhat wearied; had only just returned from Alverstoke, had missed railway trains &c. Your friend Ld Ashburton had been taken very ill, poor man,—some sudden fit of cholic or other biliary business, somewhat alarming for the time: that had been the occasion of the journey. We had grey windy weather;—I had about half my sleep:—and here I am again, scribbling in my place as before, “done thee neither ill na' guid.”—

It is pity one can get so little benefit of Invitations to the Country. Look at this from Milnes again; and tell me what you think of it! If one could cut oneself into four, as the French say, and go visiting with benefit in four places at once, it wd be a beautiful thing!— Ah me, of the things that are in this life, how many are there that “I do not need,” how many that “I cannot get”—and so have ceased to need! Let us be content.— By the bye I ought to tell you of Pedant Senior, that seeing me there, he came up in the most cordial manner to shake hands; and we even had a quantity of smoking together, and philosophical discoursing together, by motion of his,—with unabated aversion of mine. Peace to him.

I will get covers tomorrow, tonight; I will write a kind of Letter soon,—if I can. Yet why a Letter? Do thou write,—thou with the time and the faculty! I will read; it is my function at present.— Poor Plattnauer is difficult to read; seems rational enough otherwise: perhaps it is as well for him to return to Clayton; Germany I suppose has not many such for him. Dugald Christie called yesterday when I was away; no other. Today I heard old Krasinski inquiring your Address:6 a letter is likely— There I think, literally at this moment, is Darwin! Yes— ——

Darwin is to take me up to the Library in quest of a Book, which Cochrane has failed to give him otherwise.7— — Sleep well my little Goody and all will be well. I like Friday, and the prospect of Country.

Adieu my little Dear One

Thy very stupid /

T. C.

Chelsea 27 july 1845