January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 6 August 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450806-TC-JWC-01; CL 19: 132-134


Chelsea Wedy 6 Augt 1845

Dear little Goody,—Thanks for your charming bits of Letters, which are a great comfort in my solitude here. The comfortablest things that visit me, I think. “And a very poor return you have,” as Oliver would say! But we cannot help that, just at present.

Yesterday by swift trotting up Sloane Street, I still got the poor Apology for a Letter put in; which would keep you from being uneasy. Today my riding hour is 3 (I awoke very early): I have taken half an hour to myself; and nobody shall baulk you of your little fraction of home news today—

Saturday's Letter, which lay asleep at your Post-Office, was written in great haste; in great haste were the “clothes” got on: but no horse came; rain came instead. Rain came and went: horse came at five;—I had a most muddy wet gallop over in the Surrey side, rain heavier than ever. But a ride in the rain too is pleasant, when you have made up your mind to it, and have no clothes that will spoil. Our Sunday was blustery, brisk, and at last clear and sunny. After finishing my task, I rode to Addiscombe,—and repented of it. Nobody there, quite a private day; all gone to the heath; lunch over;—time of return uncertain. I smoked cigars, I ate infinite gooseberries, read the Times Newspaper. In two hours and better, the Three (Buller one of them) returned; cheerfully welcomed me, gave me dinner; and then for return—it was discovered I had lost a shoe! No great matter still, tho' the evening seemed to have been mainly meant for rest had I not been there:—but at last in bed, Sleep signified distinctly that I was not to have him! It was the gooseberries mainly, and an abstemious dinner following them: virtue its own reward. I awoke very early again; and had the cheering reflexion “None but yourself to blame for it my man!”— In fine the shoe was got on; and myself under way: home at my coffee here, not long after nine,—and an enormous sleep that night at any rate. Addiscombe was altogether beautiful when I left it in the sunny-shady morning; deep-green world, lively breath of air, bright sunshine chacing black shadows over it: I said to myself, “whose is it, after all? They are going to quit it next week; they cannot stay here!”— If next sunday be bright I may ride out again; but will try to take my precautions better. In the course of the following week, they are off for Scotland,—and I must have my bag again! The Lady is “in the Country” all this week; paying visits I understand. I cannot yet tell you what day Buller goes: but I remember it is soon, and it is not till after Monday next. He is gone to Cornwall, electioneering;1 so I cannot ask him. You had better aim at Monday.

Since then I have prospered. A beautiful ride last night, Highgate, Hampstead &c;—seldom saw a beautifuller scene of its sort. And the Printers are very busy; Proofsheet almost night[ly]2;—and I have been annihilating considerable rubbish; and begin almost to see to the end! God grant I were well at it; for really this is getting too heavy.—— — Met Helps on Monday Evg; I had gone out to buy myself a new Stock (such audacity had I summoned up); Helps descrying it, joined me in the shop. His horse fallen altogether lame. The clatter of the good Helps did me no ill for a while. The Town is getting almost altogether empty now. Very pleasant the Streets and roads will be in comparison, before long.

Yesternight came Christie poor man with some project about a Surgeoncy in the Hanwell Asylum;3 which I doubt he has no chance for: I wrote him two Letters, which, with Anthony Sterling who also came, cut up my whole evening— Sad enough. Letter from Jack;4—Letter from Jamie5 that my Mother is getting better again.

Anthony was Martinetish, withered as usual;—gave me very sad news about his Father. The poor old Stimabile had been galloping abt the Country with his Grandson; had got to Manchester to the Queen's Hôtel there,—was struck with Apoplexy; for some time hopeless; lies there still, recovering slowly. Anthony had been up for two days; just returned;—to be off for Italy, Germany or I know not whither, tomorrow. It is very strange that indifferency; that Isolation of the poor old Sterling comes home to me as very sad!— If I were not so busy I would write a Note to him, I think,—poor old Stimabile! Well, my Dearikin, enjoy the dainty home you have got in the friend's house,—surely a very rare acquisition in this world. I am delighted to hear of your prospering there, my poor little Dame,—so seldom does the like befal. Go on, grow stronger and stronger;—and come home very fat to me!

I had some other things to say; but here is the horse-hour, within two minutes. Adieu my Dearest. Take care of thyself; and be good to me tho' absent.

Ever affectionate /

T. Carlyle