October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 9 July 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570709-TC-JWC-01; CL 32: 175-177


Chelsea, 9 july, 1857—

Thank God, my poor little Dear, here is at last a Letter! Came about 2 p.m.; in the morning I was quite in a quandary, could not tell what to make of it; and Geraldine, who was duly over, got plenty of my chagrins to convey to you. Oh what a passage, my poor little Goody, Goody: Oh dear, oh dear! I was quite miserable all the way home, to leave you in such a hole,—the rather as I noticed, just when you were rolling off, one of the first-class carriages behind you with not a soul in it. You shall go no more into any wretched saving of that kind; never more, while we have money at all, remember that! I consoled myself thinking most of your neighbours would go out in the Fen Countries,1 and leave you with at least room and air: but it has been far otherwise: Good Heavens! all the windows closed; tobacco, and the other stew all night! My heart is sore for my poor weak woman. Never again; shd I sell my shirt to buy you a better place!—Lie still, and be quiet, only saunter out into the Garden, into the balmy natal air, and kind tho' sad old memories— and write me that you have got the vile thing blown away out of you.

We are doing well enough here. I came long roundabouts, that night, Tottenham Court Road2 &c, of a dusty sad aspect, like districts of Manchester; suitable enough to the mood I was myself in, with my poor weak Jeannie so bested. Oh do not think of terrible things! By God's favour (of whh we have had much surely, tho' in stern forms) I will get rid of this deplorable Task, in a

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Thomas Carlyle under the awning, 5 Cheyne Row, by Robert Scott Tait, 29 July 1857

Courtesy of Edinburgh University Library


not disgracedful3 manner: then, for the rest of our life, we will be more to another than we ever were,—if it please Heaven! But the first thing, you observe, is that you get into some strength again; direct all your calculations towards that for the present!—

I have looked at the Birds daily, all right; and daily bestowed a bunch of chickweed on the poor wretches, who sing gratefully in return. Nero ran with me thro’ the Brompton (New-road)4 solitudes last night, merry as a maltman; always on coming home, he trips up to your room, till I call him back: I wish he wd give it over, for it makes me wae. Vegetable protegees too shall be taken care of.5 Fear not;—and write, write, whether you get ansr or not.

Yesternight there came Blackie's Oxford man to me,—a good, ingenious and wershly amiable young man with moustache.6 He does not intend coming back, I was glad to see. At 5 p.m. Lord An had come; but our ride was very dreary, I fear: his very horse wd not keep up;—poor man, he seemed to me, in some glimpses, as if he were the forlornest of men. Sir D. Brewster7 called yesterday too (old Quasi-humbug still in a fresh condition); ‘Miss Jessie’8 who was with him obstinately staid in her carriage out of doors and I did not see her, being quite in deshabille.—

I have been mainly under the awning all day; and got my sheets (3 of them) corrected.9 You shall see the ‘Scotch Sermon’ again before long.10— It has now struck 4, and I must run. God keep thee ever, Dearest! Whom else have I in the world? Be good, be quiet,—and write. T. Carlyle