August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 30 August 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420830-TC-JWC-01; CL 15: 61-63


Chelsea, Tuesday, 30 Augt / 1842—

Dear Jeankin,— The Phenomenon Coach costs 20 shillings inside, 10 outside, and starts from the Regent's Circus at six in the morning, arriving at Bury about 3:—it, therefore, will not do. We must stick by the Cornwallis. Tomorrow, with the good Mr Dobbie and etceteras tonight, I shall hardly be in readiness: but I do aim towards Thursday; and if you hear no farther tomorrow, I may be expected accordingly, on Thursday,—about 4 o'clock, I think you said? Mr Buller or Reginald can perhaps meet me; but, in any case, I shall get along some way or other.

Our weather is quite broken; the “Lammas Flood,” as they call it in Scotland. Yesterday, after the thundering as I announced was begun, I had to go for Pimlico with the Letters, four o'clock having just struck here: I got along by means of the umbrella, and occasional shelter under penthouses, tolerably well till near the Hospital1 on my return: there, however, I wisely took refuge under the inner colonnade, and sat three quarters of an hour, witnessing one of the beautifullest rain-deluges ever seen. The rain did not cease for a couple of hours after; but I got home nearly dry. The streets at night were washed, the middle of Piccadilly as clean as a kitchen-floor; and ever since we have a soaking dampness, which the Ditmarsh swamps2 could hardly match; a very villainous kind of weather too;—as indeed which kind is not villainous for a poor Devil that has nerves!— My white hat is come; but in these circumstances except on the outside of the coach I do not mean to use it: walking shall stand over till I see Troston at any rate. Meanwhile, if you have any opportunity, you can be inquiring, What conveyances there are, into Huntingdonshire? Who knows anybody at Ely, at St Ives, Huntingdon? Ely seems to be some 28 miles from you; the rest all in a line: I must actually get a view of these three places; the very fields that Oliver tilled will be lying there, the very mud-ditches he first opened his eyes upon in God's creation: in the all but total absence of true knowledge about him, it will be a kind of comfort to look on all that, to know verily that it is all a fact indisputable. Nay I can walk over that country, with no luggage but in my pocket, and be back at Troston again in two days.

What a blessing that I escaped your Squire3 with the strait eyes! My fingers itch even here to have the horsewhipping of him;—and yet let him live; only far apart: God is great, and makes (not only suffers but makes) strait-eyed Corn-law Squires!

We took of course no notice of the Macready Note; which seems to answer itself by no-answer. It came last night. Strachey's little epistle is of this morning: his gig would have been welcomer some other day than the present: but we must submit to the allotments of Destiny even in gigs. I suppose we should be making up our minds as to Clifton;4 or rather you should be making yours, for I want that as the preliminary.

Perhaps tomorrow also there may be time for some Note of hand: if none, you already know Thursday. Gehab' Dich wohl, mein Liebchen [Be well, my dear little one]. I am in a fluttery uncomfortable state today; but what can one help it? Thine always, with blessings.

T. Carlyle