April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 19 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440719-TC-JWC-01; CL 18: 146-147


Chelsea Friday, 19 july / 1844—

My Dearest,— Here is another bit of nonentity which I fire off at your head, before you quit Maryland Street; the new morning must bring its new necessary evil. You are a necessary Evil yourself, are you not?

Today I am in the bilious line; have got very ill on with work; have had an invitation to dinner, and ‘a young man’ to call for me. The invitation to dinner, I have made, or will resolutely make, into a Tea: indigestions are too ugly to encounter for any but those that do interest us,—far bonnier men than the Harmonious Blacksmith!1— My young man, whom I have just had, was Greenock Ker the young Chancery Barrister, Scott's nephew.2 He is tremulous as a caught hare; really otherwise not a bad youth; and I have desired him to come back. Helen described him, at his first vain attempt about an hour ago, as “an oald gentleman that had once been here.” Most mysterous!—

Last night I called for Lady Harriet. The usual Buller3 sat there, apparently almost asleep in the ‘fever of digestion,’ or stupor of digestion, when I entered; the Lady herself, in spite of her sickness, is always brisk as a huntress. Buller brightened up soon; argued, talked with me, not to great purpose but in a cheery rational manner, presided over by this Divinity; and, with one cup of innocent black tea, and a mouthful of polite human speech, I came home little injured. Mazzini is authorized to call “next week, some evening, ”—poor victim! At a certain turn of the conversation I was asked to come out to Addiscombe next Sunday, and could not for the moment find means of declining,—but did internally decline, and must externally now send some Note to that effect. It is very brilliant all, at Addiscombe; wealth in abundance ruled over by grace in abundance: but I—I am bilious, I am busy; not equal to it for the present!

This young Ker informs me Scott is coming up to Woolwich again. The pain of his disorder has very greatly abated; some hope the disorder itself may have abated. He is to get to the Wedgwoods in Staffordshire, and after resting a little there will come hither in some week or two.4

Today it is thundering. Autumnal mists, before their time, preside over evening and morning: this morning Helen proposed a fire; then the sun broke out in silver brilliancy, and now we have clouds and the thunder growing louder and louder.— Punch is totally weak this time; not worth wrapping up and paying two pence for. Some small touches on ‘Sir James’ still; Sir James had such a bout with these Mazzini Letters as no unlucky caitiff ever had: they have given the whole world that hated him an opportunity of flinging rotten eggs on him, and now he is in a pickle like few!— The thunder is coming nearer and nearer.

Our grand question however is and remains, When the Goody will return? Let her not set any day till she have seen Manchester; Manchester, I guess, unless Mrs Darbyshire come almost miraculously to the rescue, will not detain her long. And then my dear little Bairn is back again; blessings on her!— What is becoming of you today; have you also thunder? I have heard nothing, but hope in tomorrow. Bless thee, my little one. Auf ewig [Always]

T. C.