The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 12 August 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520812-TC-JWC-01; CL 27: 219-220


Scotsbrig, 12 Augt, 1852—

Here is another nice little Letter from you; full of lively details, which bring the scene quite before one! I read the Doctor's letter yesterday too; and am now pretty well off for news.

Don't bother yourself about my “health and spirits”: that is not worse at all than usual; nay rather it is better,—especially today after a capital sleep (my best for six weeks): nor is the gloom of my mind a whit increased; it is the nature of the beast, and he lives in a continual element of black broken by lightnings, and cannot help it, poor devil!

All is disorder here, a foot below the surface; distressing enough to me to look upon for my poor old weak Mother's sake;—and Jack seems noway joyful in his filial function, and much fonder of gratis medicine than of that. I will tell you about it all when we meet; meanwhile not a word of it, not a whisper of it to any ear!—

I wish I could give you a final resolution about Germany: but today yet there are “doubts” (and will ever be till the fact itself, negative or positive, shew face!)—nay you confirm what I supposed likely that your presence at Chelsea, for some weeks to come, may be really useful and even needful. Suppose I went to Germany first, and did Silesia with Neuberg, and then waited for you in any convenient place, to do Berlin and what remained? That notion has struck me today. But in fact my general feeling towards the whole enterprise is too apt to be one of scunner and horror. The sleepless nights, the misery of dyspeptic days, and the general prevailing ennui towards all one is likely to see and hear: this presses on the human imagination from such an element as my present one. Oh Goody, Goody!—

I truly rejoice to see what spunk is in you; and how you can dine at Véry's, and do such spirited and gallant things. A meat dinner I recommend to you, with confidence, every day; go up daily to some such locality, since there is no hope of it at home. Poor Fuz, I fear he is still in a lingering coil of weakness and illness. Perhaps I ought to write him a word; but at present I have not heart even for that.

Thackeray's £100, and the “Stones of Venice,” what a pair of adventures! On the whole your Brookfield dinner was good, and the description of it is altogether (for me) considerably better.

Here too there is no faith in weather! I talked yesterday of getting into the fields with my Book: yesterday forenoon was bright, warm, hopeful, & sunny; but towards evening black eastwinds with rain came loaded out of Cumberland (where they had been busy since morning); and today all is damp, with a cold moaning Northwind and occasional showers.

I purpose to write again tomorrow or next day,—very soon at least;—but have no farther paper or capacity at present. Jack will write the instant he gets the Macready Letter.— Take care of thyself, poor Goody, and Heaven bless thee!

T. Carlyle