The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO JANE WILSON ; 4 December 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18401204-TC-JWI-01; CL 12: 344


Chelsea, 4 Decr, 1840—

Dear Miss Wilson,

The Farce of the Special Jury is absolutely threatening to become tragical to me. Next day after my visit to Eccleston Stt there came a second summons; the first for Wednesday, the second for Friday! I have been bottled up now for three days in that accursed porch of Bedlam till the life is almost stewed out of me, and as yet there is nothing whatever done, my two summonses both still valid, and tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock I must attend again. I have asked and inquired of all people, “Whence comes it? Whither goes it?” The universal answer, “God knows!” No madder thing ever came athwart me in this world. How long it will last I do not know; but I must struggle to the end of it now. I must also contrive to get delivered from it for the future,—were it even by rushing off into the moors of Nithsdale again!

I am thoroughly sick, bilious, sleepless, next door to desperate. Alas, on Monday Evening I shall probably be sitting in that scandalous Gehenna,1 getting thro' my first Jury summons; fitter for the Hospital than for your kind Dining-room! As good as two weeks of my time will have been blotted out as with a great ugly blotch of Madness, dropt on it by God knows whom or what; but dropt on it; lying there; ready to return in three months, if milder Destiny prevent not! Pity me, and pray for me.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle