April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 14 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490714-JWC-TC-01; CL 24: 121-122


Rawdon / Saturday [14 July 1849]

Goodness gracious! what is to be done? Will a letter directed postoffice Cork be still in time to find you? “It may be be1 strongly doubted”! so I will make a compromise betwixt a letter and no letter,—will write what Magazine would call “a pair of lines” to notify my safe arrival here, leaving all the details till a more certain opportunity.

I wrote to you on Monday before starting—on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday I wrote—to the Imperial Hotel— Your first letter to Nottingham reached me on Wednesday morning; the second has only come to hand this morning—here at Rawdon—the first contained an address where to write—but—you bade me send it on to John, and in my hurry to obey your instructions before setting off with the Neubergs to Newstead Abbey, I enclosed it to John with a few hasty lines from my self, and only be thought myself that I had not taken down the address either on paper or on my memory (bad as that is); whilst I was standing in Lord Byron's bedroom looking at the identical basin in which he used to wash his face!— You see what comes of writing letters to me for the public good—

On Thursday after breakfast I left Nottingham with Mr Neuberg and his dear little sister—and went partly by railway partly by open carriage to Chatsworth and returned to Rowsley to sleep—in a beautiful little rural Inn—about half a mile from Haddon Hall2—It was very strange to go squealing in a railway train past all those crags and paths at Matlock where I had wandered so silently with you!3 At midday yesterday (Friday) I parted with the Neubergs at Matlock station, they returning to Nottingham, I proceeding to Barnsley, where I was received with transports of affection by poor Mrs Newton, a very loving woman if not a brilliant one,—dined and had tea with her (Nodes is in London) and then she drove me herself in a gig to the station—three miles off—where I again deposited myself in a railway carriage at eight at night; expecting to meet Forster at Leeds—but at Normanton two stages from Leeds the door of my Coupé where I sat all alone was thrown violently open and a man jumped in—rather impertinently I thought—and seated himself—and then said; “Well how are you?” and I turned and stared, and behold it was Forster! at Apperly the gig was waiting with a very frisky horse—and also Nicol the Glasgow man, who was to come here to sleep on his way to the water-cure, whither he is now happily gone— Forster too is off to Bradford to be back in two hours, perhaps with Mrs Paulet— And so you see “how I am situated” (as your own phrase is— For the rest I am precisely in your own case—“well—really well ever since I got out of London, but “hardly any sleep to be had”


Enough on an uncertainty— When I know where a letter will surely find you, you shall have further particulars— God keep you— Ever your affectionate Jane Carlyle

pray send some clear sketch of your proposed progress—if possible—that not only I may know where to direct my next letter but that Forster may know where to join you if he get rid of me in time and wish to go—but perhaps this wont be read4