April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 17 September 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490917-TC-JWC-01; CL 24: 235-237


Scotsbrig, Monday 17 Septr, 1849—

Welcome to your own home again, my Dear! I judge, after best calculation, it will be surer to aim thither than towards Manchester today:—and yet I do not know; perhaps you might get this before setting out from Green Heys, and it would be a kind of comfort during the long drive? One would like to do both ways! Before the end of the sheet, I must decide upon one of them; a truly important decision indeed.

Your Letter from Glen Truim, forwarded I judge on Friday last and readdressed in Lady A's hand, arrived yesterday; this with a Tablet1 was my sum of correspondence since I arrived here, at my still port of refuge, where it is a blessing to have none but indispensable correspondence. I am indeed lazy beyond measure; I sleep and smoke, and would fain do nothing else at all. If they would but let me sit alone in this room, I think I should be tempted to stay long in it; “forgetting and forgotten”; so inexpressibly wearied is my poor body and poor soul. Ah me, people ought not to be angry at me, people ought to let me alone,—perhaps they would, if they rightly understood what I was doing and suffering in this Life-pilgrimage at times; but they cannot, the good friendly souls,—ah me! Or rather, Courage! Courage! The rough billows and cross winds shall not best us yet; not at this late stage of the voyage, and harbour almost within sight!— The fact is, my poor Goody, thou seest I am very weary; and the more sleep I get, I seem to grow the wearier.

Yesterday I took a ride on Jamie's shelty, by Waterbeck and the Kirtlebridge region: the lanes all silent, fields full of stooks, and Burnswark and the everlasting Hills all looking quite clear upon me. Jog-jog, so went the little lazy shelty at its own slow will; and Death seemed to me almost all one with Life, and Eternity much the same as Time.— Jamie attended me on a second constitutional excursion, he riding I walking, at a later and quite dark hour. Poor Jamie is himself very far from well just now; and he has hard losses within the last year. Other work, except eating my victuals, I did not do yesterday at all.

Today I have written to ask Neuberg what is the route by Nottingham: a rest somewhere between this and London would not be unwelcome to me; but I do not much think Nottingham will prove much nearer me than London itself. We shall see. On the whole, as the old song says, “I wish I were at home again, at home again!”2 Sleeping in my brown bed again;—above all things, if that were possible, at some kind of profitable work again. Oh help me, do not hinder me!—

You shall have money directly; in fact may have it any day by writing: but if you do not ask for it, I will bring the Letter in my own pocket, as much the same result, with less trouble to you.— I know not if I ought to go to Dumfries one other time, and settle various little things; but unless I grow livelier, the temptation to sit here doing nothing all my time, will be irresistable. Oh Goody, Goody, how lazy I am! God send thee well home, my dear little woman,—a good little woman too, and the best of women in several very essential respects! My Mother is here, sitting by me in a kind of silent impatience to get me out into the bright still air, “to ask for Letters as well as leave them”;—air I do believe is the best element just now. Oh write; a word instantly when you arrive at Chelsea. And take care of yourself; and be good, and all shall be well! Ever yours T. C.

I decide to try Manchester with this, after all. Kind regards to Geraldine therefore, and bon voyage to you, and speedy meeting to us both!