April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 17 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440717-TC-JWC-01; CL 18: 142-144


Chelsea, Wednesday 17 july / 1844—

No Letter from Goody today; but indeed I hardly expected one, the poor creature being on the wing yesterday, engaged in flitting. Her cold being gone, I had nothing to be anxious about,—for surely the Paulet horse did not fling you off, or injure you at all, but benefit you! I will not have you bore yourself with answering these duds of Notes; I have the pen in hand at any rate, and penny stamps close by: in your establishment I know it is very different indeed. Amuse thyself, dear Goody; do not bore thyself for any cause whatever, just at present! The poor Goody very seldom has a holiday

Yesterday I called for Mrs Helps; the foolish little atom has gone out of Town ‘to Gravesend1 for a month’; so probably I shall have to write a Note after all. In the evening, scarcely was my sinful sleep done, and the pipe half smoked, when there came to pass—Bölte. She pretended to decline coming in, to be only wanting some account of your homecoming; nevertheless at sight of me (for I was forced to lay down the pipe), she very freely came in: clattered in a wooden way, really very wearisome, about ‘Sir James,’2 the ‘Holy Ghost’ and I know not what; consented to a cup of tea; and then, thank Heaven, went her ways. She had left Grahamdom only on Saturday night: I suppose she came to see if there were quarters here. Mrs Buller, ‘greatly improved at Troston,’ is coming hither in about a fortnight. Bölte is decidedly very poor company.

The evening being spoiled, I went off to the Coleridges; Trench,3 Maurice, a Painter Boxall,4 and other shovelhattish persons male and female were there assembled; the women just going upstairs as I entered. Coleridge is a noisy flunky in part, but tends too towards a better meaning. Poor little Miss Southey was sitting upstairs when we went thither: a small miniature of her Father, I remembered her once here, under other omens.5 She is going out to Wandsworth, with Miss Fenwick and the Hy Taylors, who have taken a house there for 3 months. I now find it is poor Dr Calvert's Sister's6 house; perhaps I will walk that way on Sunday, for I have never seen Taylor yet.——— Mrs H. N. Coleridge was there also; really a kind of “Phantasmion”;7 so small, so delicate, pretty and orthodox-wise. I talked chiefly to her and the Southey; came home in good time, innocent of all but a cup of coffee, and two gooseberries.——— Same date by the evening post there had come a Letter from John enclosing one from Alick. Alick, at the time of writing, had his ‘horses resting and taking their dinner’; he appeared to be working like a lion, ‘getting his crop in’; had had ‘all the children’ out, planting Indian-corn, he dibbling holes, four children dropping in seeds, and Tom covering up in the rear! Is not that a pretty sight, compared with many? Poor Alick!—

This big monster of a Town is now distinctly emptying itself,—thank God! I was in the Park one afterdinner; found it very crowded still; but supposed it was the whole world come to take leave of it, the evening being of the brightest after an abeyance of rain. I saw no soul whom I knew; nor indeed did I look except in crossing their Cavalcade, and carriage-files,—and there, I generally found the sample ugly upon my honour! Certainly there has been an influx of ugliness this year; whence proceeding, the gods know. These two days the sky has a distinct autumn complexion: Heaven, the year is bending downwards again! I rather think of staying still, and being solitary here. Really the complete isolation I have lived in, hardly speaking once in the day, and dining on the quarter of a chicken, seems to have done me good. Adieu, Dearest!

T. C.

When does she think of coming home, do you ever hear?—