October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 18 July 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460718-TC-JWC-01; CL 20: 247-248


Chelsea, 18 july, 1846—

No news from you today yet, poor Goody; which, I fear, is a sign there was not much of improvement to announce. However, I will hope for a better account on Monday morning. I think I have written every day this week, more or less?

Bobus, I have no doubt, went off this morning at half-past eight; a very wet morning for him; but from Greathirst's stable the distance was not far, and Gt to a certainty would take all manner of precautions. If Robert succeed in getting him tonight, home to you, about six o'clock, safe, it will be one ugly burble fewer in one's affairs. Enough remain, Heaven knows! I am this day paying off Bobus's last bills here;—and find, as once I did in a former case, that if I had ordered Brown1 to shoot him for me at Bedford last autumn, it would have been a real advantage! However we will now go thro' with it handsomely to the end;—and we shall know another time! By Jack's Letter you will see what outlooks there are in Annandale; grass at least to be had: if you find Bobus, or at all suspect him, to be in the way at Seaforth, I need not bid you scrupulously respect the hospitalities and the delicacies,—and instantly despatch him by the Steamer to Scotsbrig. Pray attend to this for me. You have only to find out the day of the Annan Steamer, either of them, and write in time to Jamie. Send the Animal and all his trappings, if you find that the course,—swiftly. On the other hand I have written to Jean at Dumfries about the price of Gigs there: so we have hold of the affair by both handles, and will not spill it between us.

My route remains still unfixed. Fitzgerald, as you see, will not go with me to Naseby; nor have I any notion to go voyaging into Suffolk to him. I will go somewhither in a few days,—that only is fixed! My disgust at the necessity of going at all, of not being in a place where one can stay and be at rest, and follow one's affairs all the year round,—is, as it has often been to small purpose, again considerable.

I was at the Barings' last night; saw Buller &c. I do not go to Addiscombe today nor tomorrow, nor indeed for an indefinite perhaps infinite time to come! To the Lady I have of course told nothing, except that you are very unwell; but she seems to have discerned pretty clearly for herself that our intercourse is to be carried on under different conditions henceforth, or probably to cease altogether before long; to which arrangement she gives signs of being ready to conform with fully more indifference than I expected,—with no unkindness at all, but with no discernible regret either; on the whole with the most perfect politeness, and graceful conformity to destiny, such as beseems all people.2 Such as I too am ready for, if it come to that;—that perversity of fate too I can adopt and accept, as I have had to do a few in my time.— An opening is left for my meeting them about Carlisle or Edinr on their Scotch Tour; but it seems to be with little expectation on either side that it will take effect. We shall endeavour to see what the real monition of the matter is when the time arrives.— — Buller is already getting official in his sentiments,3 or one thinks so! He has £2,000 a-year while the game lasts; which will be a useful thing to him at any rate.

I am over head and ears in beggarly confused business: dear Jeannie, adieu. I beg and entreat thee to be quiet, to be clear and wise! So thou shalt yet be, by God's blessing. So shall we all be!— Have you a thought to go and see Cousin Walter in his new manse? Kind regards to “Betsy” and Geraldine, and to all. Yours ever


Alick's Letter is forward4 to Dumfries; there was nothing special in it,—the old details and fundamentally all well.