The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 30 July 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530730-TC-JWC-01; CL 28: 236-237


Chelsea, 30 july 1853—

Last night, after 3 days silence, I went to Chorley for a little touch of human or semi-human speech again,—in the course of which I learned this strange fact (testified on the streets had I been heedful before), That there is not certainly a Cab to be got at any railway here; that nearly all the Cabmen, since Wednesday last, are on strike, negociating with Fitzroy and his new Bill,1 who won't give in! A new company, it seems, is about coming in, &c; the railway people, meanwhile, are doing their very best, with luggage carts, omnibuses &c; but cannot with assurance promise any lady (much less any gentn) a Cab at their stations! That is the fact; or was, last night; and is like to be on Monday.—— You must therefore appoint your train; and write about it directly; and let me be on the ground for you, on Monday with a Neat Fly. Otherwise you will be driven upon the Chelsea-Islington Omnibus; have to wait some minutes on the street, and be set down at Sloane Square:—which is not a handsome conveyance for a Goody coming home, “on half-pay after the 7-years war!”— — Name the hour, therefore; and keep it;—and look well out for the brown wide-awake, as it will for you. I shall be home time enough from Addiscombe,—before 1 o'clock surely; and long before 4 or 5, I can have my neat fly and self in waiting at Euston Square Let me find a Letter, and do you stand to it: that is all.

I got six good hours of sleep; awoke at 7 however, and could make nothing more of it tho' I tried;—I am much better today. Had there not been utter silence I shd not have slept at all; for I had withal taken coffee instead of evening tea, felt drunk with it on getting to bed 5 hours after; and was like to leap out of my skin, had I been disturbed. But I was not: Ronca, the Demon-God on such occasions, was propitious; and I heard absolutely nothing,—except, abt half past eight, his own heavy cough, as he first steps out; poor Devil, a bad cough indeed, as I said to myself; and I am to be annoyed at the mere noise of it! Selfish mortal indeed!— The morning was showery; and I thot of excusing myself till tomorrow. But now I shall go, all having grown so bright; and no scrag being here, still less any gooseberries &c. God bless thee!

T. C.