July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JWC ; 2 July 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580702-TC-JWC-01; CL 34: 6-8


The Gill, 2 july, 1858—

Thanks, dear Goody, that I have again heard of you. Yesterday, all day, I had some notion that Brighton was at the bottom of your silence; but I strove to think it might have been better than, as now appears, it was. What a blunder that morning, not to quit the fetid river1 at that contiguous station,2 and make out our adventure! This Brighton journey you had to do; that I foresaw; and that is the only comfort for the deplorable night and day it brought you. It is now done; and you know your Rottingdean again. If it had been possible to form an Establisht there, it might have had fine effects! Nothing is hourly made more evident to me than the excellence of clean air, silence and milk-diet: that is nearly the whole sum of my privileges here; and I calculate I am daily attaining some slight increase of improvement by these means. I calculate I shd at length get into human health again by such help, and be only a wearied old man, not a ghostly phantasm hunted by Demons as I usually am in London. And my resolution is (so far as I can form any resolution) that, if I live to end that Book,3 there must follow the opening of some retreat of that kind for my final years in this world.

I write a little Note to Botkin, advising him to call on you, who are my alter Ego:—you can ask where Tourgaeneff4 is gone, and report to me what my Russian Dragoman is like &c The other Letters, Doughty-Street,5 M'millan6 &c go to the fire;—more especially as I am in haste today (having awoke last night, and then slept in), and being terribly badgered with the “cares of cloth”:7 oh you lucky Goody to be out of all that! Never did I see so despicably troublesome a problem; insoluble too, the endless varieties being all of quack nature, & simply no good stuff for raiment to be had: I have come to discern that here too I must pay my tribute to the general insanity, take such cloths as are to be had, and deliver poor Jean8 and myself from farther bother on the subject. She sends me daily a Letter big with “samples” (all alike unlovely to me); today I send to order the Tailor, and have resolved to plunge for a decision.9 Oh my Goody, Oh my Goody, I am very wae and lonely here;—take care, take care of thy poor little self, for truly enough I have no other!—

The Tait Picture-sale, to my view, stands much where it did: the same operation we supposed, only more finely done. Combe spoken to, ordered (by a word or a wink, is all one) to stir up Lord An if he “conscienciously could”; did prove able “conscienciously” (as his Note intimates to me); and so the phenomena all followed;—and, in what is to me an intrinsically very despicable way, an unbeautiful man hooks up an idle simple do who had unluckily made a call one morning, and extracts £500 from him. Pfui! But I see no help for it; the only thing is, I will give that “Picture” a wide berth for the future, & study to sweep it out of mind.— God bless thee, Dearest; I had much to say still; but will put it off till a new day. Regards even to Nero the wretch. Yours evermore

T. Carlyle

Tourgff's Note I return, in case you want an Autograph