April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 13 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440713-TC-JWC-01; CL 18: 132-133


Chelsea, 13 july, 1844—

My Dearest,

I promised you a longer Letter; and behold, in my confusion, surrounded by above twenty folios, I have mistaken the hour; thought it was 2 when it was 3,—and I have to be at Cary's at 5;—and on the whole there will be as good as no Letter at all! And it is the poor Goody's birthday too, when she reads this, and one ought to have said what the inner man sufficiently feels that one is right glad to see the brave little Goody, with the mind's and the heart's eye, on such an occasion; and wishes and prays all good in this world and in all worlds to one's poor little Goody,—a brave little woman, and on the whole a Necessary Evil to a man!— All that, you see, is up.

Yesternight at the Wilson's I was driven nearly over the limits! Ditchwater was as nitrous-oxide to the thing we had. Ach Gott! A poor little Mrs Something fresh from Wor'ster Cathedral, whom I was said to ‘know,’ but did not in the least; complaining of horrid German vulgarity, thrice horrid German irreligion: baronet Salusbury himself—the Devil stick him on the top of Salisbury Steeple for me,—Yankee-doodledoodom itself could not beat him. A man with some defect about his eyes; one glass of his spectacles ground quite differently from the other, so that when you looked thro' it it made his one eye as big as a bullock's, the other remaining of its natural size; an unbounded talker too, clack-clack, with a flavour of orthodox wit,—twaddle smaller than the poorest of penny-wheep:1 and I drank a cup of bad coffee, and lost two hours sleep by the job; confound it and all such!— Today also is rainy, and I have to go to the Museum region,2 and be bored again. You say I have no patience?— Well, let us forget them altogether.

And now, Dearest, here is the small gift one of the smallest ever sent! Do not think it cost me any trouble to buy the thing; once fairly in the enterprize there was a real pleasure in going thro' with it. Besides the people are good honest creatures; the Papier-Maché people whom you know. I tried hard for a workbox, but there was none I could recommend to myself; I was forced to be content with a little Jewel-box, and there you see is the key!3 Blessings on thee with it; I wish I had diamonds to fill the place with for my little Wifie!— I knew you had a Jewel-box already, but this is a newer one, a far smaller one;—besides I bought it very cunningly, and “the Lady, if she would like anything better, can at any time get it exchanged here, whenever she pleases.” Is not that something? I am not sure but it will grow into a workbox, after all; for they can fit you up “the inside” in any plan you please. And so dear Goody, kiss me, and take my good wishes. While I am here, there will never want one to wish thee all good,—my poor little bairn!—

Perhaps you had better not go to Manchester, if you can help it, after all? Geraldine seems to me every way likely to go crazy, since there is no outlet otherwise. Poor Geraldine, a good creature too But the Endlich toll-werdenden [ones who are becoming ultimately mad] are never pleasant company I think.— However, she has a nice enough little quiet house, very quiet, I should think and it is not far out of your way. Do what seems best to your own Interrogation-faculty on the spot. And so Adieu, Dearest, on thy Birthday, and may the worst of our days be all done, and the best still coming! Thine evermore T. C.