January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 2 August 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450802-TC-JWC-01; CL 19: 123-124


Chelsea, Saturday 2 Augt 1845—

Dearest,—I have some five minutes till the horse come, or till I must go and dress for the horse;—not the slightest particle of news good or bad; but it will be better to salute the poor Goody today with one's blessing,—otherwise there can be none till Monday. I am plunging along as usual, thro' the Lethean quagmires: I am like to be hard up for room, indeed I am quite sure to have the Second Volume too long, do what I can: however, one way or other, it will soon be done.

Last night I had my ride; Hyde Park, Regent's Park, breath from my beloved Hampstead.1 I got a lumbago by the business, the new figure of my Addiscombe Cold; it is not of much moment hitherto. Today is wet as a sponge; a most damp dim day: the horse was to come at three, if there were no positive rain;—otherwise at five. “Stewed beef,” voluntarily offered by the little busy bee, is to be dinner today. Vegetables, I think, I will renounce for a while: yesterday for the first time I tried potatoes,—won't do.

Proofsheets and confused strugglings afterwards kept me up late. Nothing occurred all evening; nothing but the dismissal of Bain at the door,—which was the annihilation of a negative thing. Eliza the old Deptford Servant2 was here the day before yesterday; the very picture of mean discontent: husband (seemingly, to spite her) was dead, or properly was neither dead nor alive, for she could hear no tidings of him; not a penny of wages did he send, the careless dog;—couldn't he say, then, whether he was living or dead? I counselled her to write a Letter straightway addressed to the Clergyman of the place he was left at: the unhappy Croakeress then departed.— —

Well, Goody I hope you had sleep, last night, after all the doors were banged-to? Send me word what your head is saying, what your heart. If the Sun would but break out, there might be a few cheerful days for you there, among people who like you, whom you like. The “change of scene” itself is really worth something.—— This place is now getting very empty. Last night I accidentally came upon the Kensington-Gardens Band; their retinue of Park horses had dwindled to mere nothing; a thing one could ride without difficulty thro' the middle of.3 It is astonishing what real pity I do feel for those poor Squires and Squires' Daughters, all parading about in such places! Good Heavens, and is this what you call the flower of Life,—and Age and Darkness and the grand Perhaps,4 lying close in the rear of it.— “Damn ye, be wae for yoursel'!”5 So I am too;—and will now run and put on my riding clothes: just three minutes for it! Adieu Dearest. My regards to Mrs Paulet, and to all the rest.

Ever your affectionate Bad

T. C.