August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 28 August 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420828-JWC-TC-01; CL 15: 53-55


[28 August 1842]

Dearest— But where is the letter to Mrs Buller?— Did you take a new thought at the post office and keep it back after all?— You said, and also Jeanie in her letter, said, it was actually written—none however is come— Well no matter! you “are commited” as you call it, any how; for she knows the letter was written, and its purport was ‘yes’—but the steamboat-and-knapsack-speculation is all nonsense—and will come to no good—better get yourself transported here first and foremost, in the least fatiguing way—and then astonish the world with your white hat and knapsack afterwards as much as you like— That coach I told you of, the Phenomenon leaves London every morning—about eight I believe—and brings you to Bury for the small sum of eight shillings outside—and fifteen inside—so Squire Cartwright1 informed me the other night we do not know where it starts from, but you will be able to ascertain in the Circus2 will you not? if we have warning in time we will meet you at Bury or if you choose to remain entirely free to the last moment you can come on to Ixworth—and walk the two miles—only do not dawdle— If you are coming why not come at once?—there is no time so good as the present— The weather may change any day—besides Charles3 is expected shortly and I cannot predict what novelties his advent may introduce into the manner of life at Troston—making it less to my taste and I should think also to yours— I have my visit to the Squires4 to tell you of—the first regular english country Squire I ever saw with my two eyes—and I should not care tho it be also the last—but in the sort of hurry I feel to get you—underway—I cannot enter on any other subject—I would not advise Babbie's coming now—just at the end of my visit—the pains would outrun the profit— Besides I declined the invitation for her on the score of her Fathers delicacy about visiting in strange houses— and it would look as if we did not know what we would be at to accept it voluntary now—

I will write to Babbie tomorrow— I believe I shall have to walk to Ixworth with this Mrs Buller says the horse must rest today—bless you 5

[TC's Note]

This is the last letter I have from Troston. In a day or two more I went thither myself; walked abt, nothing loth (as far as Thetford one day), sometimes with escort, oftener with none. Made at last (mainly by Mrs Buller's contrivance, and delicate furtherance), ‘till Charles shd come,’ a riding tour into Cromwell's Country; whh did me much benefit in the future Book, and was abundtly impressive at the time, as indeed in memory it still is, strangely vivid in all its details at this day. Saw Hinchinbrook6 for the first [time], St. Ives, Godmanch[ester] (Ely, Soham, &c); from Godmanr to Cambridge trotted before a thundercloud always visible behind; whh came down in deluges half a minute after I got into the Hoop Hotel &c &c. Can have visited only abt 4 days (3 nights): can it be possible? I seem as if almost a denizen of that regn whh I never saw before or since.7