January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 27 September 1831; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18310927-JWC-TC-01; CL 5:447-448.


Liverpool Tuesday [27 September 1831]

My seat is taken Darling—two nights more of Miss Moody1 and the bugs and then! I was frantic to stay so long; but I felt quite worn out with my rough passage hither and thought it would be well to take in a new outfit of strength and spirit before starting again— Never did poor young woman miscalculate so egregiously. Sleep which is my great want is precisely the thing which cannot be had in this house by any means— I could sleep sounder in the open street— Good Heavens how did you get on. They would drive me mad in another week. What a goody my poor kindhearted honest minded Uncle is trysted with [married to]—the worst-bred worst natured worst regulated woman—to have heart and principle—that I ever was in a house with. O my love my love in your arms I shall feel so safe so blessed after all this tossing and tumbling and fretting and raging. O I shall sleep sound sound— I feel at this moment as if I could cry myself to sleep there—but only there is there rest for me—

I have seen your friend George Johnston and like him much—he talked to me of all his own little private matters as if we had been friends f[o]r years—and looked so innocent and affectionate in my face— He is to bring a letter for Thomas tomorrow— And now I must tell you where to meet me—

The coach I am booked in goes straight thro' by Knutsford Newcastle Lichfield and Northampton is called the Royal Umpire. leaves this at two o[']clock—and reaches the Old Bell, Holborn, and Golden cross, Charing cross next afternoon at three. The first of these places (the Old Bell) seems nearest Tavistock Square by the map—so I shall get myself landed there—if you meet me it will be well but I shall do I dare say alth[o'] by mischance it happen otherwise—

It was very stupid in me to forget twice over to [send?] the money— I neve[r] was guilty of such a piece of unpunctuality before but as Alick once told me there is a general breaking up of my faculties— Plage Putchen2 &c &c are all screeching is your letter ready—is your letter ready m[y] malison with such ill trained vermin—

Tomorrow (Wednesday) at two and in London if all prosper at three on Thursday afternoon—


She arrived here abt the 1st of Octr; Brr John and I were in waiting at The Angel Islington; right well do I remember the day,—and our drive to Tavistock-Square neighbd where our lodging was. She was very happy; much enjoyed London, and the novelties of such “Society” as came abt us, all winter; and, in spite of weak health (whh worsened latterly) made no complaint at any time, but took hopefully, and with beautiful sincerity, ingenuity and insight, whatr the novel scene offered us of good,—often singularly bettering it (especially in reference to me) by her true and clever mode of treatt. A little Chapter might be written of our Winter here that year? Too sad; and, except Herself only, too insignificant now. Among the scrambling miscellany of notables and quasi-notables that hovered abt us, Leigh Hunt (volunteer, & towards the end) was probably the best; poor Charles Lamb (more than once, at Enfield, towards the middle of our stay) the worst. He was sinking into drink, poor creature; his fractn of “humour” &c I recognised, and recognise, but never cd accept for a great thing.—a genuine, but an essentially small and Cockney thing;—and now with gin &c superadded, one had to say, ‘Genius’? This is not genius, but diluted insanity: please remove this! Leigh Hunt came in sequel (prettily courteous on his part) to the Article Characteristics; his, serious, dignified and even noble physiognomy and bearing took us with surprise, and much pleased us. Poor Hunt; nowh or never an ignoble man!— Perhaps I already wrote somethg abt him? Perhaps not.—— But here (mislaid by Copyist!) are some farther Letters of Hers; welcome beyond all other documts in this place[.]