The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 27 March 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530327-TC-JWC-01; CL 28: 89-91


The Grange, 27 March / 1853—

My dear little Jeannie,—I got hither yesterday without accident; very cold, at least too much so (for the carriage had 4 in it and I had to keep down the window), but otherwise fortunate, and above all, silent, for till the arrival at Andover Road I had not spoken one word. I read in Larpent, or looked out upon the quiet fields with the spring sun resting on them, and thought (in a sad enough mood) about many things. At Andover Road Station the carriage was drawn up with George (do they call him?) on the box; and a certain grave-looking young gentn, not I evidently but another, was just about getting in! On inquiry this turned out to be “Dr Hofmann,”1 the learned Liebig-Chemistry Professor, who was also to be a guest here: a very sensible well-instructed and serious-minded person, with whom I did very well in the vehicle (tho' he did not smoke) and have done ever since. A quite superior kind of man; tho' his strong-side, Chemistry, is out of my way. I find it has been with a view to absorb and neutralise this one that I am here before Monday, when the other guests come. He helped us last night to a more rational evening than is quite common in such cases.— In the hubbub of getting in, however, tho' I stated plainly what my luggage was, I did not see it on with my own eyes; the consequence of which was, my portmanteau was not forthcoming when we arrived here; and another vehicle had to go for it, I dining in my shag waistcoat &c, till the indispensable package came to hand,—all safe as need be, before dinner was done.

Furthermore, dear Goody, I have brought no pills, woe's me! Go up to my dressing-closet, like a good wise bairn; in the glass-drawer to your right hand, there is a box (among several empty one[s])2 with pills of your old kind in it: send me three, wrapt in a little crumb of paper; they will go into the cover of your Letter, and be a grateful blessing here! Do not forget; oh no, you will not forget!—

I slept very badly last night, indeed hardly any right sound sleep at all, only an obstinate half-desperate lying still and dozing: I do not feel worse today, but there is a considerable dose of cold about me still, and I am thrown out of my old ruts, and in a dazed kind of condition. Lord A. too has plenty of cold; and never minds. Lady A. regretted &c your not coming: but on the whole you were wiser. The air is clear, everything still as death, & clean and dry all round: but except when the sun is out (which happens only by fits) it is very cold. I am for a long walk today; and hope to be a little hardened to my new element against tomorrow. Oh whow! Oh whow! I think I too should be better at home!— Give my respects to Nero, and a crumb of sugar. Take care of thy poor little self, and be well and good when I come back. Adieu, dear little woman (after all)! T. Carlyle