The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 24 August 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520824-TC-JWC-01; CL 27: 247-248


Scotsbrig, 24 Augt, 1852—

Another big packet from you; and the description of a jolly tea-party: thanks! The largest package among the enclosures (why not open them?) is an invitation to go out to Wandsworth, and speak on the “early-closing movement”:1 a very likely speculation for me. Mrs G. Welsh's joy over John is very good and pious; one heartily concedes it to the poor Widow. Chorley I find still more mysterious; but heartily agree with him as to the plan of “not writing a word” being the proper one: his riddle, I suppose, you will rede [expound] to me in full some day.

A grand Portmanteau has been provided for me, with éclat enough: and a lively correspondence has been set on foot with Dr Hunter (experienced in these things) about passports, foreign monies, Leith Steamers and such promising objects. No word from Neuberg yet; but, turn whither I will, there seems no remedy but going—Heaven help me! You are right in your distinction: the pleasure not of doing it, but of having done it may amount to something. “Pleasure,” God help us!— — I enclose your two Notes from Lady An, and will write farther tomorrow,—and hear from you I hope? “Tea at Bath House on Thursday night” is very far from my hand just now: but I must write her Ladyship a little Note explaining how.

Garthwaite the Tailor is making me a pair of Trowsers (for Germany if need be), two ditto of nankeen for a future summer at Chelsea if all go well.

Jean, we incidentally learn, had a kind of accident with her pony yesterday; a girth giving way; and the saddle slipping: as she had gone on to Dumfries, when Jamie junior got to Annan after her, we infer it was not of importance. Poor Jean, I am sorry for the loss of her here; a rational word is not so handy to be had as formerly: and she is very affectionate to me, which is always medicinal to the sick soul of man.

Great harvest-work going on; and one of the furthersomest August days,—not setting up for quite a beauty of a day, but for utility rather, whh is itself very beautiful when men make speed to profit by it. These rugged Annandale shearers ought to put a Kopfhänger [low-spirited person] like me to shame! In Germany, whether I slept or not, the odious captivity to indolence, incompetence and donothingism, which encircles me at present, wd be cast off at least. Life anywhere will swallow a man unless he rise and vigorously try to swallow it.

Nero seems to shine in the amicable passions: his jealousy is fit to equip an Othello, if he had dirks, smothering-bolsters, & the command of Venetian Armies. Is it not beautiful? The little canine heart; the little hairy fourfooted wretch, he had said to himself, “It is enough!” and taken the world and Cook's Grounds upon him!— One raisin to him nevertheless the scoundrel.

Jack bids me say he only got the Macready Note this morning (which is true); and that he judges better to write after a night's thought, to you and Mr My. Good be with you my little Jeannie.

T. Carlyle