January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 13 August 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450813-TC-JWC-01; CL 19: 141-142


Chelsea Wednesday [13 August 1845]—

Dear Goody,—I send my salutations, my assurances that all is well here, hopes that all is well where you are; but no Letter yet,—in fact I can write no Letter; I am worn out with hard drudgery, the life of me nearly extinct to all spiritual purposes; and without news or possibility of news, being solitary as the owl in desart—“Sparrow-like, companionless / On the housetop alone!”1— It is you that should write; not I except in friendly monosyllables. Thanks to you for writing to my Mother; that is one duty you have done for me. She is gone to the Gill with Jenny, for seabathing: a Note from Jack, last night, so brief as hardly to be intelligible, did at length impart to me that meaning. She will be right glad of your Letter, being always proud of you, and of any word from you.

Our weather keeps continually dropping here: today there is a glimpse of sun broken out lately; the first we have seen for days. All the Earth is grown autumnal, of a dark grave colour; all the City is fallen silent. I rode yesterday thro' streets all the way from Islington (had been at Highgate, and returned that way); and cantered almost without obstruction. My horse, and the history of my rides, is almost all the history I have at present: the “woral [world]” goes for a very small matter with me so busy out of the world.— Just now I have finished copying the last Letter of Oliver: I will try hard yet to be thro' the original stuff this week, tho' that begins to be dubious now. There will then be a “Conclusion” of some kind to do,—an Index to set agoing. After which I am off ins Freie [into the open air]:—Ay de mi!

The Barings' little Page brought me my bag this morning,—my one piece of news. The Herrschaft [master and mistress] went off at half-past nine, by the Mail Train of the Railway, and must be somewhere in your neighbourhood before now. Buller with Fleming, and “Felon” Wakefield,2 is off for Switzerland towards the other point of the compass. I have now nobody but Darwin; he is not yet going, “not yet for a week.”

Hellen said, “Loch me, no Letter this morning yet! Is't not mysterous?”— Not at all! I said, impatiently; for I should have been very glad of a Letter too.— Nevertheless do not bore yourself writing to me. A brief word to say you are well and cheerful; that includes the indispensable. Consider yourself out for the purpose of “being jolly” and of gathering health and heart; and do not cramp yourself for Chelsea which wriggles along on the old footings—not yet “gone out” for a similar purpose.

And pray, my Goody, let me call your Letters by any name I like,—grant me freedom in that. Their merits, you may depend on it, are mirrored in a very fair glass, while it is I that read them;—and if I call them “bits of Letters,” it is perhaps all the better for them, from a soul so sulky, dispirited, dead and buried, as mine now is, in this horrid business of mine!— Courage, Courage, it will be done soon; then perhaps better days will come!— “Dinner dished, Sir!” The little Bee is washing. Ride today is at five. God bless thee, my dear little Wife. Evermore.

T. C.