January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC TO CAROLINE FOX ; 5 January 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430105-TC-CF-01; CL 16: 4-5


Chelsea, 5 jany, 1843—

Dear Caroline,

Your Bulletin of yesterday gave us a great alarm.1 Mr Sterling instantly proceeded to pack portmanteaus, be in readiness for a race to Falmouth;2 but your Sister's news today,3 for which a Servant from South-Place was in waiting, have happily stilled all that; and given us, as you may imagine, the welcomest relief. We are now terribly angry at your Patient; now that we are no longer so terribly frightened about him! We trust and hope the danger is now past—till the next imprudence, at least!4

Mrs Sterling is kept in the dark;5 and yet, as we may suppose, not wholly. She sees, by her Husband's packings, and disconsolate looks, that something is wrong at Falmouth; tho' hitherto she knows not what. This is a twilight more annoying to her than the clear light, as we now have it, would be. I conclude that Mr Sterling will instruct her accurately how it stands, today or tomorrow. She is in her usual state of strength, or a degree beyond it. If we had but tomorrow's post also favourable,—we should then give free scope to our anger, casting the terror mostly away!

Many thanks to you for your care of poor Verran.6 I think, that will be a useful thing; and we are not to neglect such, when they offer themselves among the half or wholly useless things so enormously copious round us.

You are the one, are you not, that sat at my right hand here, in the little parlour down stairs; and called me “Thou,” in the clear silver voice, with the bright laughing eyes,—the very eyes seeming to say so musically, “Thou!”7 I declare I have a great mind to call you Thou also; but must not venture at present.

In haste I subscribe myself / Caroline's Friend

T. Carlyle