October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 21 July 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460721-TC-JWC-01; CL 20: 253-254


Chelsea, Tuesday [21 July 1846]—

I have brought out my trunks; have not yet packed anything! My soul abhors the notion of packing,—of in fact doing anything whatever. I think it will be Thursday.— Here is Darwin: I must go down stairs.—— ——

I am to go out with Darwin: it is drawing near 4 o'clock. Last night came Maurice and Coleridge;1 today has been—Mrs Dixon (once of Annan) with Edward Irving's daughter and a company:2 ach Gott! I am very sad; I am still very low and sad today, tho' somewhat better than yesterday—

You could not write yesterday, being on the way home at post hour. I shall hear to morrow?— Is this worth a penny?

God bless thee, poor little Jane!

T. C.

Wednesday [22 July 1846]

This was written yesterday, but judged to be not worth even a penny. Take it today.

Here is a Liverpool Philosopher too;3 a bit of his printing I will bring in my trunk. Mazzini's Address,—yes.4 I am trying to pack, whatever I can: a detestable job! I have tobacco still to get; and Helen—has broken a button of the new (linen) waistcoat! 5 tomorrow

Chelsea, 22 july, 1846—

Dear Goody mine, I am in violent hurry, packing, actually packing,—and here has Creek been who has stolen away an hour-and-half of my time. I am coming tomorrow (Thursday, the day you read this) by the mail-train: that is the essential; recover that!— I meditated as a duty that I ought actually to go and walk for a few days somewhere or other—the Chiltern Hills (which is Hampden's Country,5 in Buckinghamshire), Oxford, Naseby,—all these were earnestly in my poor heart: but on awakening on Monday morning so totally broken down, I did avow to myself, “Thou art too great a coward; thou canst not go!”—and so set myself to prepare for other arrangements. Nay Oxford (as Jacobson writes to me) and Naseby (as Fitzgd wrote) are out at any rate: and for walking the Chiltern hills; once for all, I cannot just now. In fact I am low enough, body and soul; in fact I can't and won't! So I go tomorrow, like luggage as I am; and you will get me at 5 o'clock; and, I hope, make much of me!— Thanks for your care of Bobus, thank everybody; and send him off instantly to Jamie; I will write thither too tonight. For the rest I contemplate a run to Dublin still, with a return by the Steamer from Belfast to Annan; that will be a little scrap of an Irish tour, as much as I am up to: I write to Duffy about that tonight, and really think I should try to execute that.

I took leave of the Barings last night: all is handsome and clear there; and nothing is wrong, except your and my ill-genius may still force it to be so a little! To the Lady I “said” simply nothing; and her altered manner, I suppose, might proceed altogether from the evident chagrin and depression of mine. Was that unnatural in me? In fact, I myself was heartily weary of a relation grown so sad; and in my mind almost repented that it had ever been. But you may take it as a certainty if you like, that there is nothing of unkindness or injustice harboured to you there: and if you chose to write a little word of news to Lady Harriet, as to how you are, and what things you are amidst, I do believe it would be a real and very welcome kindness to her. Her intents towards you and towards me, so far as I can read them, are charitable and not wicked: my relation to her is by a very small element of her position, but by a very just and laudable one; and I wish to retain that if I can, and give it up if I cannot, voilà tout. O Goody dear, be wise and all is well.

Ever yours

T. Carlyle