The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 29 July 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530729-TC-JWC-01; CL 28: 233-234


Chelsea, 29 july, 1853—

Very wauf today, my Dear; having been awakened by my Ronca-friend at 4; and a sad pluister [mess] of a futile morning, followed by a still more futile day, having been my portion! Out upon it, one should have (as Kossuth says) “some aide-de-camp” in such cases!— Those Cocks must either withdraw or die. That is a fixed point;—and I must do it myself if no one will help: it is really too bad the “celebrated man,” or any man, or even a well-conditioned animal (of any size) should be submitted to such scandalous paltrinesses. And it must end:—and I had better make that my first “work”; at least such is my opinion today. But I will do nothing till you come. Then indeed—I feel as if the mercy were already wrought for me; as if my dextrous dauntless little lie[u]tenant1 had already (in some way) delivered the unprotected man, and covered him safe again. Courage: a few head of poultry shall not beat us, surely!— — I ran down stairs with the shaving water in my hand, hearing Postie; snatched his Letter,—it was not from you, it was a paltry receipt from a bookbinder! However, yours did come at eleven; it has been my chief comfort today as yet; indeed except my tea from Fanny, almost my only one,—for no work was possible, except dull Prussian reading; and I have been asleep (for an hour or more) on the sofa &c &c; and my very reading has been ill done. Non OMNES occiderunt soles [all the suns have not yet gone out].2 There will be other days yet.

What you say of John excites painful curiosities in me! I am persuaded, the poor soul could not have meant anything in the least unkind; but he is capable of terrible blindness to another's feelings, rights and claims, especially when whirled about by an influx of self-conceit; blind as a mole he can then be. I am anxiously waiting your report on that head too; and not without apprehension, from the turn of your hints. Poor soul, I shall be right sorry to find him “in a bad way,”—tho such may be the case, in some measure, from guessable causes.

If I am not better than today, Addiscombe will answer badly for me! On the whole, I wish much you had come,—for that and other reasons. I need not have ascribed anything to you; I could merely have said, You were come, and how could I leave you? However, that is fixed now; and I suppose I shall go on Sunday or tomorrow evening:—I shall at any rate have no Ronca-cock there! (Nor here either, for that matter, after Fanny's message solemnly delivered this night! Let me be just!)

Lady A. I doubt not got your Letter & Gift whatever it was; these things are never lost: but she should have said so, by all rules. Nay I half remember some indication of the Letter at least: every time I have seen her since you went, the first question always is about you,—and one day, about the time in question, I have a remembrance of her having anticipated me in that topic of discourse, and said something that indicated news direct from you. I will ask farther at Addiscombe.

Five o'clock striking! I shall have another run then: Adieu, dear Jeannie; God bless thee ever!

T. C.

This is the back of Jack's letter of last night, & I will slit it off—Monday, Monday!—