The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 5 July 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530705-TC-JWC-01; CL 28: 184-185


Chelsea, 5 july, 1853—

Dear little Jeanny,—Take the shortest of words from me by way of welcome to Moffat: it is an hour past the time I calculated, sitting up aloft here,—namely ¼ past 4 instead of past 3, when Fanny came in with “Are ye going out before dinner, Sir?” and made me shove my other papers hastily aside! Alas, alas!—

I have been very lonely ever since you went; have scarcely spoken to any creature,—and am not yet so “happy” in my solitude as might have been expected by the common mind.— This morning I was sadly disappointed and grieved when Posty went by at nine, and left me nothing. After a while I bethought me that the North Post is irregular, and that eleven o'clock was still coming;—and accordingly I did then get your good little missive, for which my thanks, and requests for more. The Newspaper came; thanks also for that: I returned it yesternight, I wonder if you will get it this (Monday) evening? Tomorrow morning at farthest?— — I aim this at Moffat, as the only sure place since you went. I hope your ugly sickness (of which I do know something) won't come back, which will be a great blessing, and that you will keep your poor tooth, if only to bite me with it.

The wretched Morganites1 are still here; fiddle-diddling,—chiefly in the Hydrastisy2 at present: they have spent all day in laboriously scraping off the vile paint they put there last year, it being a wrong kind as appears. And into that sacred apartment there will be no ingress till about Thursday next! So goes the world. Oh what you must have suffered last year! But let us be patient; it will end at last.

Yesterday I fear I have behaved really unpolitely to the Lady at Bath House: she asked me one day (before the Ball) or half-asked me in a vague way to come out to Addiscombe for the Twisletons3 & Brookfield, on Sunday; to which I answered vaguely; and there was nothing more said, and no apology or refusal ever given;—and yesterday, when the time came, I staid in-doors all day, in tolerable weather; and spoke to no mortal, but worked once more (a day of dusty misery for most part) getting up my Books from their place on the floor. The 4th time, if I remember rightly.— I read too occasionally; and did not mean to stay in all day. At 9 p.m., having sent out Fanny, I went out myself,—and fled to Chorley for a word of human speech. Ach Gott! He is very friendly to me, good soul. Hardly anybody else looks with frank kindness upon me at present; and I am terribly thin-skinned, solitary and sad, of late. With Chorley too I am not happy, ach nein! but tomorrow nevertheless I am to go and dine with him.

Griffiths shall glue yr table tomorrow. There is to be leather on the old Bookshelves (cost 3£ and odd) dark green, with a gilt stripe, and star on each lappet. Fanny does very well; and if I were not so dreadfully squeamish and biliary (in body & soul) I need not be so melancholy as I am.— Best regards to John & Wife some word of my poor Mother! Adieu, adieu.

T. Carlyle