July-December 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 30


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 2 September 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550902-TC-JWC-01; CL 30: 53-54


Addiscombe, Sunday Midnight [2 Sept. 1855].

My poor little Jeannie is away! You may fancy (or rather perhaps in your spleen you will not fancy) what a dreary wae sight it was to me this morning when I sallied out, stupid and sad, and found your door open; the one cup down stairs, teapot washed out: “Mrs Carlyle gone at 8, Sir; don't know whither; had not slept at all”; alas, alas!—I know not even whether you had got any breakfast: it did not strike me then to question my Hyaena1 farther on that subject; and it now rather strikes me you probably had none. Poor little soul; tough as wire, but rather heavy-laden! Well I hope you are now asleep in your own safe big-curtained old bed; in all ways you can now stretch yourself out!

I have had the loneliest day I can recollect in all my life, or almost the very loneliest. I declined riding (my horse had need of rest at any rate; the wind was howling and the dust flying; and on all my nerves lay dull embargo, only to be lifted by hard labour): I set out soon after 1; walked over heaths, thro' thick woods, in solitary places, with the huge sough of the wind, and a grey troublous sky, for company, about 3½ hours;—did not weary, did not much improve; sat smoking once with a bush at my back on a hill side (name indiscoverable) by the edge of a wood; got home 5 minutes before five; and the punctual Dragon2 was there with the dinner you had ordered. Very good soup indeed (potatoes still cold), and remains of pudding punctually heated: dinner slightly useful, tho' I had still no hunger. After dinner I read for an hour, smoked; then sat down by the fire, and waiting to ring for candles, fell into nightmare sleep—till almost nine! However I reckon I shall not founder this night either, but do better than last.— I mean to carry this Letter down to Croydon before breakfast (if I luck tomorrow morning. It will be a word to you some time in the day. You may burn Lady A.'s Letter (the Evans Enclosure3 I have standing here), John was to sail last night. The other Crabbe Letter,4 if you care for it, is on my Desk upstairs. God bless you ever.— T[C]

I look for you on Tuesday early. Nevertheless if you would rather not, I have no doubt of getting some feasible enough dinner &c &c; for indeed that poor woman seems to understand her work well enough;—and the Dragon herself is all civility and sugary smiles, if that were of much advantage. For the rest, the dreariness of solitude, that, tho' disagreeable to bear, is understood to be of the nature of medicine to the mind at this juncture. No way of clearing muddy water but by letting it settle.— — However, I calculate you will come, and take the reins in hand again for another stage. My poor little Protectress! Goodnight now finally.