April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 4 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440704-TC-JWC-01; CL 18: 102-104


Chelsea, 4 july, 1844—

Dear Goody Mine,— Your Note came yesterday, your Creek Times duly today. Thanks always for your kindness, for your punctuality. I yesterday sent nothing but a Times with new Debate and humiliation of the poor Secretary: I knew you would have got, in a day more, by Creek; but I thought you would like to see it fresh and fresh.1 Nothing can exceed the craven position of that unfortunate English Fouché:2 it might satisfy Mazzini himself to observe the whine he gives, like a lashed hound! It is to be hoped now that they will put an end altogether to the Privilege of Opening Seals, and so terminate this small business which has grown such a loud one.——— By the bye let me not neglect to say that the Times I sent yesterday belongs to the Stimabile, and must be pointedly returned to him. He came down with it yesterday, poor old fellow, intending it for you,—for there is some poor weak thunder of his own on the same subject in it: I did not even give him hope that you would see that individual copy, for I expected another from Darwin to send you, which however did not come. The poor old Thunderer is really very low, I think; not far from the end of his wits. Actually one might have fancied him half mad: His heart, all enlarged or enlarging to the size of a bagpipe was killing him fast, at which he rejoiced, Ha, ha!—passess3 three or two half-days every week “sitting in the vaults yonder—hoo!”—could not consent to go to the Country for recreation; “by God, would like well to go where there was a Battle transacting itself!” &c &c He looks healthier, however; not so hot and flabby: also the accounts from John grow favourabler. The unfortunate old man, with his real suffering, with his crying, laughing, swearing all huddled together, and total want of earnestness or dignity in the matter, was really a distress to me. A more absurd bag of bluster, in real danger of bursting, I have not often seen.

The night before last, having got my Castor & Pollux4 put away, I walked up to Darwin's in the ambrosial evening. Darwin sat as usual in manly ennui; brought out cigars; mentioned while we spoke of Peel's Macnaughten and Bedlam,5 “One would do very well, lodged there, I imagine!” Hafway6 home I was surprised by a heavy rain, which however could not wet me thro' the Tweed, and did no mischief at all. Last night again I had a walk along the streets; dull Cromwell Books my company when I got home. My physical ailments are gone or going; nothing but weakness and laziness remain. I dined yesterday on one chop and bread; today do with potatoes. I was to dine with Maurice and certain Wilberforces,7 but will make tea serve.— Today Perry came for his rent; Ellen sent him off “till your return”;—I have instructed her to go and bid him come to me straightway.

Your account of Walter M'Gregor is tragical! I really feel for the poor man; and fear for him. Such a coil as he is in might drive a quieter man to despair. You may thank him very kindly for his goodness to me in the matter of poor Nelson, whom it will give me very great satisfaction if he can help. The No-Scotchman case, I suppose, is settled: otherwise it is pity Walter had not known that Nelson is by birth & genealogy on both sides a Cumberland man, and does not at all affect to be Scotch! In fact he is a denizen of the ‘Country of Liverpool’ as we may say more properly than of any other region; Liverpool has all his days been a kind of Metropolis to him. But the case is not likely to recur.

You must go and see poor old Mrs Chorley; there are far worse phenomena in the best places of this world. Also John Chorley, if there be opportunity,—to whom make my compliments. I know not whether you will be better at the Paulets's; but the idea of the fresh air seduces my imagination. May you do the pleasantest way, and the wholesomest. Poor Babby, is she altogether over with it!8 Do you think of bringing any Cousin with you, or after you? The poorest of them is at least inoffensive to me. God bless thee my own Jane! No more today

T. C.

Yesterday poor Thomas Campbell9 was buried in Wr Abbey: I was to have gone with Milnes, but did not—for want of a black waistcoat, and also of time &c &c.

Alas, the poor old woman in the Lamberts's, I think, must be dead! The windows were all blinded when I came home, and an unusual total stilness has reigned in the House ever since.