August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JWC ; 5 September 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570905-TC-JWC-01; CL 33: 70-73


Chelsea, 5 Septr (Saty) 1857

Nothing from my Goody; but there may be something at 6,—I will still keep hoping. That Clock I must wind-up again; but, let us pray, this winding may do it! I am burthened continually in my poor imaginn with that Express-Train Journey: I hope you will get it arranged by Manchester in some way or other;—cut in two by a sleep, it wd be quite tolerable. Endeavour to keep your little heart quiet anyway! By this method or that, I hope to have you here before Saturday come round again. God grant you come “undamaged to me again! I privately believe there will be considerable improvement discernible when once all is summed up.

I am out of my Proof whirlpool; and into another, slight in comparison, this one, whh I have left over for tomorrow morning; other burbles being dealt with in the interim. It is a stiff swim I have here; but, if one neglect no stroke, it may go on. I have great quantities of separate threads of things to attend to,—Larkin, Neuberg &c &c, not to mention what the Printer1 sends:—in fact it is something like a campaign in war; the poor “general” (often reduced to be a drill-sergeant withal, or even a private musketeer in some cases) needs to have all his wits abt him!— Alas, alas! But we will hope to get thro' it, after all; and then rest for the remainder of our time!

View larger version:
[in this window]
[in a new window]

Thomas Carlyle to Jane Welsh Carlyle, 5 September 1857 (detail)

Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland


Ly Sandwich's little dinnerkin was not bad, not worse than usual, had one been in heart for it. Nobody there, but a fantastic redhaired young man, “Ld Ralph Ker”2 (Pervert to Popery, much concerned with Doyle3 & ‘Art’ &c, not a bad youth), and a big elderly Lady called “Mrs Fox,”4—I cd not guess who: coarse of figure; face fat blackbrowed, profile quite semicircular,5 but much a gentlewoman in manners, and plentiful in gossip of Circles of political Clubs, and the like. Here is an item or two, all to me new: “Macaulay to be made a peer” (true I find; more power to their elbow);6 Arthur Russel standing for Tavistock (most likely in by this time),7 Mother Lady Wm8 gone to Paris;—Vernon Smith (palpably a ninny) to be put out of the India Board (Sir J. Graham or some other to come in);9 the Lowes10 yachting among the Greek Islands,—dreadfully ill-paid, but can manage that. Ld Ashbn, it farther appears, proposes to the Dufferins (Mother not forgotten)11 to go steaming “to the Mediterranean” so soon as he has done with the Highland deer.— That will suffice, won't it?— Darwin was here yesterday; will go just a day or two before you come, to all appearance.

The worst is, Dear (and that is not very bad), I have to repeat the Ly Sandh dinnerkin, “on Monday evg, 6 for half-past 6.” I repent it bitterly, however; and will say “No” (and have hinted as much) another time. But the flunkeys drove up last night with their carriage, I deep in papers; they handed in a Note, “merely a verbal ansr”;—and I, like a fool, to be rid of it, ansd Yes! Well, it can't be helped; but I have since bargained to ride up, and to get away at half-past 9. And catch me another time! Truly I do need all the eupepsia I can get, & to be supremely let-alone at least. God bless thee, Dearest

T. Carlyle