October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 20 July 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460720-TC-JWC-01; CL 20: 251-252


Chelsea, 20 july, 1846—

Thanks, dear Goody, for your cheerful Letter which is a great relief to me; the one cheerful item of my history this morning. You must thank Charles Paulet also for his punctual announcement and other care about that unfortunate Horse,—concerning which, it seems, we are by no means yet out of our adoes!

Unfortunate Bobus, he seems to have been foaled for my especial misery in these last two years! I am tempted to say, For God's sake, shoot him; fling his carcase into the Mersey, and let me never hear more of him in this world or the next! But that will not at all do either: we must finish the adventure in some handsomer way than that. Listen therefore.

I have never seen the Brute since Tuesday or Monday Evg last when I rode him: next morning the Ostler, on his report, got orders to do “whatever was reasonable for making the creature ready to be sent away as soon as possible to grass”; Greathirst saw him, thought there was little wrong; on Friday Bobus was reported ready to go,—had been blistered, it appeared tho' contrary to what Greathirst had thot would be necessary: however, here now he was, fit to go to grass at last: on Saturday, much to my amazement, I received a Horse-leech's bill; by which it appeared at least that “medical treatment” had not been spared till the cure was brought about! This too I paid, with entirely silent but very deep disgust: I now send it to you, with a small Note of Greathirst's by way of last word to me,—as all the “medical” or other light I have got about the unfortunate quadruped,—whom I do in my heart wish dead, if he would only die soon. But the question is not that; the question is, What is now to be done?

If the Brute were now able to travel at all, I should say, Put him into the very first Annan Steamer, and let Jamie take charge of him. Failing that, my strict advice is To call in no new “medical treatment”; but to bid Robert, or any other rational groom, give the creature what purgative medicine (the most Common is as good as the best) he sees him by the indubitablest evidence want; and for the rest to turn him out into a grass field, and there let him live or die which ever he (Bobus) finds handiest! That really is the summary of all I have to advise: my wishes in the matter may be said to limit themselves to one point, That the catastrophe would arrive soon. And so enough of him, the monster!

I am totally broken down today; physic in me, &c; have not the strength of the ninth part of a taylor,1 either in body or mind; and therefore must restrict myself rigorously to doing nothing, and saying almost nothing. God bless thee, dear Jeannie.


T. Carlyle