January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


JWC TO FRANCES WEDGWOOD ; 16 January 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430116-JWC-FW-01; CL 16: 18-19


[16? January 1843]

Drama in one Scene.

(A parlour in no 5 Cheyne Row. Enter Mr Carlyle dressed for a dinner party at Philip van Artevelde's;1 and looking as if just setting out for “the thirty years war”— Mrs C—wife to the above—is seated at an oval table—strewn with litter—of coloured papers—leather—old books— &c—looking excessively bothered; as well she may—being in the thick of binding a copy of Pope's works in seven volumes!)

Mr C: Oh dear dear me!

Mrs C. Dont you think you are going to make yourself too late?

Mr C: I shall be time enough for any good I shall get! Certainly I am a most unfortunate man! My dear, are you not sorry for me?

Mrs C: No—

Mr C. Well! I can assure you however, I am heartily sorry for myself!

Mrs C: I am sure you are going to be too late—

Mr C: (looking at his watch) hang it! So I am!—but there is something I should like you to do for me—in fact you must do it— Write to Mrs Wedgwood how I am situated—out today—shall be all shattered to pieces in consequence—and absolutely unequal to any thing more this week: but that we will come and dine some Monday (not the first—any other) and go all to Wilson's scotch songs afterwards!!2

Mrs C. And who do you mean by we?

Mr C—You and myself. You will write that will you?

Mrs C Me! me with “my interior” (as you call it) in an everlasting worry of blue pills—much good Scotch songs in a cold winter night would do me!

Mr C You will write what I bid you?

Mrs C No—I will engage for you—but not for myself— Dear me you will be an hour too late!

Mr C I am afraid I shall (exit running)


Some Monday