October 1833-December 1834

The Collected Letters, Volume 7


TC TO MARY WELSH; 5 June 1834; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18340605-TC-MWE-01; CL 7:203-204.


47. Frederick Street, Greys Inn Road, London / 5th June 1834—

My Dear Madam,

I did not come home last night till tea-time; an hour after the Post was gone. In the sitting-room I found a little Canary-bird, vehemently suspected to be the Craigenputtoch Chico; and next moment, in the bedroom, I found my poor Traveller herself! She had stood her journey wonderfully well; complained of nothing; and this morning too, asserts that the headache she has will go off if breakfast were come. She charges me strictly to thank you all for your “great friendliness and kindness,” which she has often spoken about, which I can well believe in without speech.

We are to go off directly, in all manner of miscellaneous conveyances (omnibuses, cabs, and shoe-soles; for it is a very miscellaneous route) to look at the Houses I think hopefullest: before night we shall probably have fixed on one or another; I still rather prophecy, on the old Chelsea one. It is a most solid spacious mansion for the money; and, so far as I can possibly ascertain, has no bugs.

This, my dear Madam, is no Letter; and cannot become one, so hurried am I; and that little Bird yelling at my ear, like a hundred musical shrew-mice! Were we once settled, I will write to some of you again; and say more at large how the world serves us here. The only thing I have yet positively made out is the unabated dirtiness of the place; soot and dust are portion of every breath we draw. However, at Chelsea or Battersea, the west-wind will blow all that away from us; and the good Friends, who make even dust and soot agreeable, can come to us in the teeth of the wind.

I have by no means forgot Maryland Street; as how should I ever! My kindest regards to Mr Welsh, to Helen and Alick, and all the rest downwards to Johnny. Tell them all to be good till I write again.

Believe me always, / My Dear Madam, / Most faithfully Your's /

T. Carlyle.