July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 24 September 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470924-TC-JWC-01; CL 22: 89-90


Scotsbrig, Friday Evg, 24 Septr [1847]

Thanks, dear little Jeannie, many thanks to thee: I hardly expected any Note this afternoon, knowing the misfortune that had happened to my own, which I hope you are now at last about getting to read. Thank Heaven also, that there was such good news to send!— I meant to write a word for your cup of tea on Saturday night, that you might take to your Examiner with better heart: I know not now when you will get this or with absolute certainty where: but I send it off to Addiscombe; there the poor zero will be welcome when it comes.

We have bright weather here today; Jamie busy carrying in the last of his Corn. My Mother is not well; I took her a little walk over the fields, which has made her a degree livelier: poor Mother, she is very frail, and in two or three kinds of health sometimes in a day. The rest of my No-history is, some few pages of stupid Turner and his “Anglo-Saxons,” botheration with Tailors making drawers and winter waistcoats; tobacco ad libitum, drowsy thoughts,—and this poor Note from Geraldine; which do you, at least so far as Forster goes, answer, or acknowledge. I conclude there has yet been no Forster? I had thought there was no paint either: but in that last point I was mistaken.

At Addiscombe you have no paint; and I hope your weather too is bright. It may do you good for a day or two: if you are not well there, come straight home again, one is best unwell at home. But in the meanwhile thank, very heartily, the Lady Harriet from me too for her kindness to you; and say I forgive her, on that ground, for never sending me a word of tidings during all her late travels! Add if you like that I think her Ladyship very idle (as I myself am), and that she must be “picketed”1 one day like that unfortunate “ram” she once mentioned,—unless things mend! —Or suppress all this, and say no word about it, wise Goody mine, if you think that better!

Oimè [Alas], Goody, Goody! I begin to wish I were at some work again; for this Donothing Existence is like to swallow me as in gulphs of mere mud. By the blessing of the Powers, surely I shall yet find that my hand has not quite lost its cunning still?2 My next Book, if I ever write another, I think, will be a dreadful one!

Good night, dear Jeannie, my own dear little Lifepartner, only the dearer to me for all the sorrows we have had together: if we had had joys, should we not have shared them! Adieu, Dearest: write, write. T. Carlyle