August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JWC ; 17 August 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570817-TC-JWC-01; CL 33: 33-34


Chelsea 17 Augt (Monday) 1857

Dear Little Goody's Letter came this morning at Breakfast: right glad to hear of a little improvement in her. The getting away from that child-of-glory Scene must be itself a very great consolation. Alas, one can find no place in the Earth where there is any real composure or comfort attainable: one form of folly rules, or if not one form then another! One is best at home after all: and one of the certain results of going abroad for help is almost always, that one relishes one's own poor shop better.— Anne, I notice, is beginning to clean for you here: and it will be a glad day for Nero and me, among others, when we get you safe back again.

There has occurred a gust of wild weather since I wrote, and properly nothing else at all. On friday evg I rode out, and after putting your Letter in at Sloane Square, proceeded thro' the Park, intending for the Hampstead regions at lowest for the Regent's Park. But the sky was grey sultry, bad for riding; and evidently full of wild electricities: by the time I got towards the top of the Park, I perceived Hampstead was far out of the question. At the Marble Arch,1 there blazed out a long zigzag of fierce lightning seemingly within few yards, and such a peal of thunder instantly as quite alarmed my very Horse. We turned sharp to the left, intending to keep near home; galloped till we got within reach of big trees at least. There fell no rain almost, after all, and I kept riding about for an hour after: but such a Sky for dark gusty fury I have seldom seen. Puffs of fierce wind, then sudden stillness, pulses of dark almost like night, then sudden gleams again &c: I got home witht any wet to speak of, and there came no wet to speak of: but next day (Saturday) from early in the after[noon]2 till I know not what time next morning, it fell in pouring streams, comparable to Noah's. No riding that day! Yesterday there was again clear sky, and such a wind—whh blew my Awning into total confusion! (I have put it all right again). In fine, the wind continues, gradually going down; and I perceive the heat of the Year is done. I am up here, with 50 Books round me, struggling to get afloat on my new Section (or “Book”);—but with bad success: considerably out of sorts in the stomach way. I rode to Hampd yesterday afternoon (3 to 6): already the roads were whirling vortexes of dust; very hot too, and not a nice ride, but I had from the green heights at Hampd such a view of London as was “grand” really! At tea, the unlucky Woolner3 took again the liberty to stumble in—Pooh, I walked him out again: but the evg was lost first. Anne did not go to her mother, “such a wind and dust, Sir.”

This morning (forenoon some time) Lady Downshire “and a Lady”4 called; did not say where they were; asked for you,—were told you were expected, end of the month: and so took their departure again. That is all the strangers. Geraldine came in the other day; dare not take Nero out:—Nero does not care, Piper being now back, and I good every evg.— Darwin5 also was here, that afternoon of the electricities: I intend calling there today.

Not a whisper from Lord Ashbn (nor indeed do I know where he has been)6 till that Note this morning. In my life I have read few things more miserable. I must ansr it tomorrow or soon.— It is already half past 4: I was far too long in beginning! Here is Anne a second time. God bless thee Dearest. Compliments to Aunts, in best form and spirit. Your Affectionate,— T. Carlyle