The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 5 April 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410405-TC-JWC-01; CL 13: 78-79


Derby (Royal Hôtel) Monday Night 11 o'clock [5 April 1841]

Dearest Jeannie,

The last look thy face wore today has haunted me all the way hither! I will write half a word before going to bed;—tho' in a Traveller's-room, with two bagmen dining and conversing on one side of the apartment, and Milnes diligently reading a Tragedy of Landor's1 at the other side of my table; two blazing jets of gas flaming away right overhead.

We did not arrive here till towards Nine; not from any accident, but because it was the usual rate of going for our Machine on this railway. We got along without the slightest accident; comfortable enough. Sir R. Peel's eldest son,2 and the heir apparent of some Lord whose name I forget, sat in the same Carriage with Richard and me: harmless lads, full of civility, who will never set the Thames on fire. They left us, the last of them left us at Tamworth, some twenty miles short of this. Our weather was of the brightest: I sat looking out at the green spring fields, the beautiful honest-looking villages and hamlets; it is many a year since I had seen a Spring day; this was a kind of sample of spring,—rich in all kinds of sad and tender recollections for me The village of Ivanhoe (Ivinghoe, they spell it), standing at the base of a Knot of smooth bare green hills or Knolls among the kindly croft-lands of Buckinghamshire,—Hampden's old property,3 the scene of Scotts novel,—this and some other things I have gained today.

Milnes and I get along beautifully hitherto. He has read Oxford Tracts4 &c all the way; argued and talked in the smartest manner. We snatched up a “plate of mutton broth” at some midway station; other dinner was not attainable. Tea and mutton-chops, in a very respectable style, was furnished us here. I managed to smoke three cigars,—two of them in the railway, in spite of regulations. My bed for tonight looks out on the Street here, on the intersection of three Streets, in this centre of Derby: but still there is some prospect of sleeping. We set off again at nine in the morning; shall arrive about one or two I fancy. M's servant manages all the luggage &c; it is the easiest travelling one could have.——— On the whole, Dearest, didst thou ever receive written on paper any more perfect clatter than this I now write? Never! And yet is not clatter as good as sense; in one point of view, better?

I will write from “Frystone,5 Ferrybridge” (that is the address); write thou: there is a railway, and letters fly in less than a day. O Jeannie, would thou wert happier; would I could make thee happy! I fret myself in a small way about all things: did the Hackney Cabman give you no disturbance? Have you escaped from the Noble Lady6 without damage?

———Good be with you, my dearest. Hope, let us still hope and not fear. Good sleep to you; and this along with breakfast tomorrow.

Yours ever from the heart /

T. Carlyle