The Collected Letters, Volume 27


JWC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 30 August 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520830-JWC-JAC-01; CL 27: 259-260


Monday / 11 oclock / a m [30 August 1852]

My dear John

The Devil has been busy in the postoffice department last week—letters arriving here at unprecedented hours, and arriving there, not at all it would seem— I have a letter from Mr C complaining bitterly that I had not written to him before starting—in reply to a letter received on Thursday morning, about his passport, pills, &c—that letter I answered instantly and saw with my own eyes Darwins John1 put the answer into the Sloan Street Post office at 2 oclock. and I strictly enjoined Alsop, who is punctuality's self to have his pills in the post office befor four. How Mr C should have missed getting my letter I can't imagine—enclosed in it was a hurried note to you about little Oscar Reichenbach who is ill of hooping cough, and getting so weak that his Parents are dreadfully alarmed about him— It is much to be wished that Mr C could learn not to leave everything to the last moment—throwing everybody about him as well as himself into the most needless flurry. I am made quite ill with that passport—had to gallop about in street cabs (by the hour) like a mad woman—and lost two whole nights sleep in consequence, the first from anxiety the second from over fatigue

Here is your letter come, to cut short more “details” which else I might have got “intangled” in—a note from Dr Hunter by the first post had already put me at rest as to Mr C having got the passport and the letter I sent to Edinr— Oh no! not too late here— As I have told you I saw the letter put in the post office at 2 in the fore noon—the pills I cannot answer for—there is only the probability founded on my experience of Alsop's correctness—that that also was posted soon enough— I wrote to Rotterdam on Saturday—in case he should inquire for letters there—

My bed was pulled down (it had long been standing “a complete wreck” in the middle of a room laid waste last Saturday— And in consequence of the passport I could not get to seek myself a place to lay my head till nightfall— So I tried then the nearest place I knew of, and tumbled into a small room at 2 Cheyne Walk2 where a Baron Dalwig a friend of the Reichenbachs had lodged—not having been able to ascertain whether the passport had really been sent off in time for Edinr, I could not of course sleep a wink in the new position—and felt such terror of that bed again that next night I sent Fanny to sleep in it and myself slept all alone in this house on the sofa where Fanny had slept— the kitchen being quite reeking with paint— And last night I tried the same wretched position But today I must go and see if Mrs Thorburns3 white washing is over—at all events I must sleep this night in a bed—somewhere

Mrs Macready is at Plymouth Forster told me yesterday—stood the journey better than was anticipated but the Dr there gives no hopes of her— Oh no! one has only to look at her to feel that there is no hope!

I wonder now if you will break down in that enterprize?—please dont, I want very much to see you comfortably settled in life—and with a woman of that age—whom you have known for 15 years I should not feel any apprehensions about your doing well together But you put so little emphasis into your love making—that it wont surprise me if this one too get out of patience and slip away from you

Affectionately yours /