August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 26 August 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460826-TC-JWC-01; CL 21:29-30.


Scotsbrig, 26 Augt, 1846—

My dear Goody, I had thy Letter yesterday at last; many thanks for it,—and do not keep me waiting so long again! No news could be welcomer than this, that you have been recreating and improving your mind by assiduous inspection of the works and ways of Manchester; most welcome unexpected news! The black spiderwebs that take possession of one's fancy, making one's poor little heart and soul all one Golgotha and Egyptian Darkness,1 are best of all to be sent about their business (home to the Devil whose they are) by opening one's eyes to the concrete fact of human life in some such way as that. O my Goody, my own dear little Jeannie— But we will hope all that black business has now got safe into the Past, and will not tear up our poor forlorn existence in so sad a way again! God be thanked you are better. And now tell me that you eat a little food at breakfast as well as dinner, and I will compose myself till we meet.

Total idleness still rules over me here: the brightest still autumn weather, blue skies, windless, with Noah's-ark clouds hung over them; plenty of good tobacco; worthless Yankee literature, and many ruminations in the Moor or Linn: that is all; the voice of the Devil's Cauldron singing one into really a kind of waking sleep. In spite of cocks, children, bulls, cuddies, and various interruptions at night, I victoriously snatch some modicum of real sleep for most part; and could certainly improve in health, were a continuance in such scenes of quiet permitted me. But it is not: I must soon lift anchor again, and go.

Yesterday I wrote to Spedding: if he pressingly enough invite, I think of taking Ireland on that side. The route to Portpatrick is by night. Liverpool and Steam appears to be the eligible road. Tell me, would not you like a glimpse at the Lakes? With authentic sincerity now! I will meet you at Lancaster, and escort you safe to Speddingdom if you consent. Spedding is actually a fine honest fellow; his Wife and the rest of them one and all are very supportable people, who will be proud to have us, I do think; and the Country all round is really worth looking at apart from all twaddle. Say; and swiftly that I may have my answer ready when Spedding writes.—— Today this little Note arrived from Espinasse; I have written his Certificate, and hope he may really get the place.— Jenny and my Mother are this day washing with all their might; clearing up my soiled duds for me. I have displaced Jack; and write in the East room Adieu Dearest; answer straightway. T. Carlyle

I had already written to Manchester; the Newspaper of yesterday, and that, would probably arrive at Liverpool together. Kind regards to your Uncle and all in Maryland Street.— Good sleep there?