The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 4 August 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400804-TC-JWC-01; CL 12: 218-219


Priory, Leatherhead, Tuesday Evening [4 August 1840]—

My dear dear Goody,—I hope you are very anxious about me, and that this letter will come in fulfilment of much longing!— I have only a minute, and must beg you to be content with a word.

Julius Hare has written; I enclose you his letter,1 one of the kindest. But the perversity of country posts nearly ruins us: instead of finding his Letter yesterday morning, I get it this morning,—or rather, as inevitably has happened, for I rode off without waiting for the Post (not to lose another day)—I got it at 4 o'clock this afternoon, and Hare has to be off for London on Friday!— After some considerable deliberation, I determine still on going: I am off tomorrow about six o'clock; I expect by dint of great effort to get within some twenty miles of Herstmonceux tomorrow evening; I may dine, or even perhaps, tho' not probably, breakfast with Hare on Thursday: on Friday or at farthest Saturday I set off on my return homewards; on Saturday night, or at farthest Sunday I expect to be home. Were it not that you would laugh at me, you gipsey! I think I should set off tomorrow morning, and be home to dine. For the weather is hot as the Simoom; all roads a mere whirlpool of chalk-dust, and a glaring sun like to roast the brains and eyes out of one! But I will as much as may be keep off the highways, and ride in lanes.

Miss Bethune2 sang at boundless length to me last night, and really to my very great entertainment. Adam is a fine old fellow; Eve his wife pleases me too; Cain also was there: they are all good people.3

Today I went off about seven of the clock to Leith Hill, a celebrated Eminence of these parts. I breakfasted in the strangest hedge-alehouse at the opposite foot of the Hill; plucked a twig of heath; rode thro' innumerable lanes, woods, lone-lying hamlets, spoke to all manner of persons,—and so arrived here, as you comprehend, to find Hare's Letter, and have my dinner. The ride has done me distinct good. I seldom, in spite of the horrible heat, have spent a more interesting day of locomotion. Particulars when we meet! The good hosts here are as kind as possible. Milnes turned up in the neighbourhood today; they are anxious that I would stay; but you would laugh at me, and I cannot! Have your earthquakes done; and the house all ready for me to begin work at my return.

I know not whitherward to bid you write to me, if not to “Revd Julius Hare, Herstmonceux, Sussex,” without loss of time after receiving this. I will hope that all goes well. God keep thee, my dear Jeannie! Be a g[ood] bairn till I come back—

Yours ever affectionate /

T. Carlyle