The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 7 September 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410907-TC-JWC-01; CL 13: 245-247


Greta Bank, Keswick / 7 Septr (Tuesday), 1841—

Dear Jeannie,

These four days I have been waiting, with more and more eagerness, for a Letter; but begin now to see that I shall hardly get one. Heaven grant you be not ill! Yesterday there did come a Newspaper, but without any strokes. Perhaps you have only “nothing to say,” and that is all. I have not heard from John either, tho' I asked to write and send tinder! I must be content. I write today for the last time from Keswick; it is still possible a Letter may come, but this will have gone first.

The kind Landlord here has, as it were, constrained me to stay yesterday and today, for which too there were other inducements; but tomorrow morning I do go: and as the Coach is one of the worst, this hospitable Spedding forwards me in his gig, by a near cut, about half way towards Carlisle; by which means we do not need to start till half past seven in place of six, and escape some nine miles of extremely ugly driving. The Coach finally will set me down in Carlisle about 12 or 1 o'clock; and then, after 5 hours of painful donothingism, I get on to Ecclefechan, and may hope to arrive before eight. Write you thither, at any rate, and let me know what you wish your motions to be.— Perhaps, on the whole, it will be better that I meet you at Dumfries with the gig; my travels have been so manifold of late. I am considerably ruined; but hope to recover soon again.

We have had Mr James and Mrs ever since the day predicted, who are apt to keep us terrib[l]y1 back at dinner. Mrs James is very large and interesting;2 does not grow in favour with me much, nor I with her. She invites me strongly to Coniston,3 but I decline. James Spedding and Pollock are to go instead. Monteagle and a great colony of Marshalls, Rogets4 &c are about the inns here: last night we had an immense “flare-up,” with a kind of Mechanics' Institute, Infants' School, Church and Parson whom they entertain here; the Parson giving philosophical soirees monthly to all the world. Yesternight, for example, all Keswick Parish was invited to tea, and literally about 200 took it; Monteagle (it was in the Infants School room) handed the sugar, with many Marshall millionnaires, Cambridge tutors and other Laking5 notabilities in presence; then the “harmonious blacksmith” lectured on astronomy,—learned galimathias [nonsense] unintelligible to the Parish, and the Parson (a young foolish admirer of mine) winded up with a tritical essay on things in general, deadly tedious; after which a a6 soiree at his house, with &c &c—ach Gott!

To conclude, dear Goody, I am heartily glad to get off dressed dinners again, and back into authentically ugly country where I can hope to be at rest.— Write my dear; write to Scotsbrig any way. Thine ever

T. C.