July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 9 September 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470909-TC-JWC-01; CL 22: 56-58


Carlton Terrace, Manchester, 9 Sept, 1847—

Dear Bairn,—I am still here, and having little prospect of writing you even a word till after the morning mail of tomorrow, I fire off one line merely to signify that nothing is wrong with me hitherto. I have been terribly dadded [pushed] about since we parted in the Leeds Steam Establishment on Monday! I got to Manchester at the due hour; found poor Espinasse waiting for [me]1 (tho' at another hour than the one appointed); got along, in his company, straight to the “Palatine Hôtel”; then to Ballantyne,2 to &c &c (never left alone, except by special contrivance, for an instant); finally got to Geraldine's to tea, where again the whole company of “Hero-worshippers” joined me, and smoked tobacco till a late hour! Eheu [Alas]!—Geraldine was most hospitable, most pressing in her entreaties that I would stay all night; but I found she had a Lady Visitor with Children just coming, and I would by no means consent,—especially as Frank, the younger Brother, whose bed I surmised was to be mine in that case, did not come home during all the interim.3 So I resolutely quitted for the Palatine Hôtel:—the noisiest establisht, I do believe, in all this Earth. Heavens, what a night! Next day, departure being still by importunity postponed, I was right glad that Geraldine would take no denial:—quiet ever since, and a fair share of sleep among my troubles. The Carlisle & Beattock trains are and remain totally unknown in these parts; I wrote to Jamie; no answer yesterday; today one word to say that the rail thereabouts is still to be opened, probably this very day! I go at 4 p.m., and shall get home some way or other.——

Alas, alas, here is Ireland; announcing Bamford, just at hand; announcing Sommerville (who whistled behind the plough), and plans to occupy every minute of my time till four!4 Adieu my dear little woman. I hope you got home to your own bed yesternight: but I shall hope to hear when I get to Scotsbrig this night. Our train arrives at Carlisle at 10 o'clock: I determine to push on, and have it done before sleeping, if there be any conveyance whatever.

I have seen your Whitworth5 and his place, a wonderful place and man;—the true lodge of a “human beaver.” I have seen your Sharps,6 somebody's Cotton-mill (very ill ventilated): yesterday I missed the train (Shame on me!), or I should have been already at Scotsbrig; so in the evening we all went off, Ballantyne &c &c, to Rochdale, to the Brights. Terrible arguing, “pitching of it into” John Bright and the other benevolent Ex-Quakers there: otherwise an interesting evening.7 Particulars in my next. Adieu, Dearest: I fancy Ireland's pipe is done, and the step of Bamford must be near. Here he verily is! Adieu, my own little Jean.—— T. Carlyle