April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 2 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440702-JWC-TC-01; CL 18: 99-101


[2 July 1844]

Indeed Dear you look to be almost “unhappy enough” already! I do not want you to suffer physically—only morally—you understand? and to hear of your having to take coffee at night and all that, gives me no wicked satisfaction—but makes me quite unhappy— It is curious how much more uncomfortable I feel without you, when it is I who am gone away from you and not, as it used to be, you gone away from me. I am always wondering since I came here how I can ever in my angriest moods talk about leaving you for good and all—for to be sure if I were to leave you today on that principle I should need absolutely to go back tomorrow to see how you were taking it! Well—this time it will not last long, my absence— Indeed having seen my uncle and the rest and gratified them all with a sight of me, I should return tomorrow so far as my own inclinations are concerned— But having promised myself to Mrs Paulet and Geraldine, I must for consistencys sake go thro with my programme and the going to Seaforth makes it a sort of obligation to be longer here—for they are JEALOUS of my engagement with Mrs Paulet and would be quite offended, I see, if my time here were shortened from the fortnight they calculated on at the least—

Various pleasure excursions have been talked of—but this week I do not feel at all up to excursions! So I have taken nothing more in hand than going to the Mechanics Institute1 today and dining with the Macgregors tomorrow— Walter and his wooden little wife were here last night—the first time I had seen them—they having been away at that West Kirby2— They looked to me last night even a more “hideous spectacle” than they did to you in London— A more desperate man I never set eyes on—all in the way of sport forsooth—but such Tigerish sport! and then his asides to me! Heaven help the woman and the man to; for they have a tragical outlook! He (Walter) bade me tell you that he was by no means forgetful about Ben Nelson—that he had made three attempts to get him a situation and in the last instance believed that he had quite succeeded—when the Employer asked as a last question what countryman he was and being told he was a Scotchman declared that “it was most unfortunate, for he had once sworn by his Maker a solemn oath that no scotchman should ever enter his employment !— “God curse him for a damned prejudiced fool,” said Walter—(that is his present style of speech)—you were to assure yourself however that he would not cease enquiring and that nothing would give him more pleasure than in being able to oblige you in this or any other way.— Indeed he seems ready to lay the hair of his head under our feet—and you would have said that he made a parade of this by way of giving additional poignancy to his contemptuous behaviour to all the rest his wife included— To something I remarked he said “Oh yes, but YOU are accustomed to associate with human beings! with people that have some thought in their heads!” and his looks and voice when he said this was that of a man likely to end in Bedlam or in Suicide—

God bless you / your own

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Is Bölte gone to Troston with the Bullers?— — Creek sends me constant Timeses