The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 3 September 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410903-TC-JWC-01; CL 13: 241-243


Greta Bank, Keswick. / Saturday 3 Septr, 1841—

Dear Jeannie,

I have just got the Marshall visit1 accomplished; a business of four and twenty hours, in which James Spedding and my kind Landlord have most hospitably forwarded me. Our Landlord lent his Britschka, horse and groom over the mountain roads; James left his Pollock here, and volunteered to go with me and bear me safe thro',—as he has honourably done. We had a dim threatening sky yesterday, which however did not actually rain much; we had tobacco, greatcoats, freedom, and a road by the base of Saddleback and pleasant valley of Threlkeld, over to Ulleswater, the beautifullest of all the Lake districts. We arrived some time after four; found the old pair and three of the daughters (Cordelia, the sick one, and the youngest2) at home, and very glad to see us. Some Sisters3 of Mrs M. who live close by were engaged to dine,—the hour 5. We were well lodged, well treated every way; I might have been very happy, had it not been for the old story, headache, sleeplessness &c &c, which make me a man like no other man. As it was, I have had few more insupportably obfuscated evenings;—like to sink with weariness, weakness, stupidity and somnolence; then when in bed, awaking at 3 &c! A melancholy business;—which however is now done.— Great regret was expressed for you; schemes were started of having you still brought on to Penrith, and so forth: in fact, I believe we could both of us do very well there, if we were once habituated: they are among the kindest truest people, and their house is among the completest and most perfectly elegant and convenient I have ever been in. Wealth and good sense can do no more. In beauty of situation, looking up from smooth shady lawns (the very cows on them seem all curried) over the lake waters at their broadest to an amphitheatre of mountains crowned by Helvellyn; I never saw any view comparable to that out of their windows; I, who care next to nothing about views, found it really grand. Cordelia looked still more abashed and a little paler than of old. The sick one pleased me much. The Mother too I liked; and the good old Father better than ever. Why did you not come, and let us fairly get habituated! Our [Or?] would you not still? The Marshalls are all to be convened again here on Monday, and the Speddings press me greatly to stay over that day, when doubtless “regrets” and perhaps reinvitations will once more come to light.

Alas, the James Marshalls to lodge, with the Monteagles to dine,4 and that Russian Count (no escape this time!) are looked for in an hour or two; and my head is still bad enough (tho' I slept again, long treacle-sleeps after 3), and I have begged lip-salve for my lips, and my heart is entirely stupid and weary; and I could wish greatly to be let alone!

From you nothing came yesterday or the day before; I hope, but with no entire confidence there may be something today. I did get the Examiner, by the bye; I also wrote to the Newsvender, about the change of address.

Here enters James5 inviting me to Keswick with his Brother for a walk. It will heat my feet at any rate.

Adieu, dear Goody. Send me a favourable word, if thou canst, of thyself. God help thee, poor thing, and me

Thy unfortunate /