The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 31 January 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510131-TC-JWC-01; CL 26: 31-32


The Grange,1 31 jany— / 1851

My dear little Jeannie (for such you are, and shall again and ever be, if it please Heaven).—

I must write you a little line, under every conceivable opposing circumstance, time, pen, hand &c) merely to assure you that nothing is wrong, and keep your poor little imagination at rest.— I meant to write in the forenoon, and came up for that end; but it was then too cold, and I had no means of fire; so I went into the sun rather with a Book and pipe: and now it is half past five, and I am just come in wettish from a long ride: so take the will for the deed, and “excuse us this time.”

I found at Andover Road2 a wet afternoon, and a carriage waiting,—but not for me; it was destined for a Mrs Mildmay (Humphrey's Aunt); she and her daughter3 and maid and luggage more than filled it; so that two of her big tin bandboxes had to be thrown into my poor “fly,”—the brougham had been there at one, but had gone home again. So I rode in my own hired fly—“cheruch, ”4 I am very sorry to say was 14/ in all. We must try another time not to miss the cab!— But it was my own blame—I confess that.

Only one Bishop is here, Thirlwall;5 Soapy6 cannot come,—tant mieux [so much the better]. Milnes is here;7 the Stanleys young and old;8 somebody Wilmot Horton was,9 and a Mr Simeon (fat man and Member) from the Ile of Wight:10 but both these are gone,—as is Trench,11 who dined and staid here yesternight. The conversation is a thot more solid (thanks chiefly to the Bishop) than is usual; yet still by no means too solid:—and indeed to say truth, I am heartily dispirited, out of sorts, and should be near desperate (incredibile dictu [incredible to relate]!) if it were not that Monday, near at hand now, is to end the scene for me. Truly I am out of sleep; lonely, and have no word to say that can be so profitable to me as silence and a little free tobacco would be!— The young Stanley lasses are full of “fresh enthusiasm,” Blanche12 even sings; Miss Farrar do do,—and has even a long list of Scotch tunes. The young Mildmay Lady is all for Germany &c, and has next to no sense that I have yet seen.— Last night there was a dreadful onslaught made on, what shall I say? properly the Church in presence of Trench and the Bishop: T. affected to be busy reading, and managed extremely well; the Bp was also grand and rationally manful,—intrinsically agreeing with almost everything I said. Poor fat Simeon, a gentn in search of a religion, sat stupent in the whirlpool of heterodox hail, and seemed to feel if his head were on his shoulders. This is an extraordinary epoch of the world, with a witness!

Tomorrow I count on hearing from you; on Sunday at farthest; and on Monday, if all go well, I shall be at home again. God bless thee, Dearest.

T. Carlyle