January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 21 August 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450821-TC-JWC-01; CL 19: 160-162


Chelsea, 21 Augt 1845—

Thanks Dearest for your nice little Letter; very welcome to me, as they all are that you write. Send a word rather than nothing,—literally so after the common term of pause: it will keep the morbid imagination quiet, and teach me to hope in a fruitfuller Tomorrow in respect of Goodyisms.— I know not if you mean to take Egypt's Advice, and write some Book? I have often said you might with successful effect: but the impulse, the necessity has mainly to come from within; it is a poor trade otherwise! So we will be content with Goody whether she ever come to a Book or not. One way or other all the Light and Order and Energy, and genuine Thatkraft [energy] or Available-Virtue we had does come out of us, and goes very infallibly into the God's-treasury living and working thro' Eternities there;—very infallibly, whether the Morning-Papers say much about it, or say nothing; whether the wages we get be more or be less! We are not lost; not a solitary atom of us,—of one of us. When I think of an Oliver Cromwell, and of the Fathers of a Burns,1 and other such phenomena, I am very indifferent on the Book side. Greater, I often think, is he that can hold his peace; that can do his bit of Light instead of speaking it!—

Zoe2 seems to be a very crank machine; jealous on account of a wretched Egyptian “Because”: keep an eye upon her, do not swear eternal friendship with her beyond what she is up to!— On the whole, if that Rawlins was your man, probably you have lost nothing but the drive.

We had a plunge of rain on Tuesday; yesterday a tempest of dusty wind; today the Sun is out and all brilliant. My head continues dully aching; which I begin to impute to continual use of carrots as my sole vegetable. Today I am for a fresh experiment on potatoes. I am very dark as to the extreme closing up of Cromwell: but it seems to me as if it lay quite close at hand,—some one bright day all that were wanted for it! Perhaps tomorrow? Really I am quite near it;—shall wriggle it out, I do think, in the course of a week.— Christie's Hanwell Situation is to be decided today; I fear he has small or no chance for it:—he will then be all the readier for the Index; which I mean to leave in Robson's hands and his. Courage!—

The evening of the wet night I took a notion to stroll, perhaps to have a mouthful of human speech somewhere. I roved up the lanes; asked for Mill: Gone to Belgium, three weeks ago,—no speech to be had then? In passing I even pulled the bell of Craik:3 it did not ring; I gave no second pull, saying to myself, “Ach Gott it is probably just as well!” and continued my walk for an hour farther. Yesterday, amid whirlwinds of dust I galloped round by Highgate; plenty of riding: today there is to be nothing but a walk. In the evening of yesterday, poor Welsh Redwood came in; a dreadfully gaunt dull man: very instant for me to visit him again; I was not far from answering “Neva'!”— Dugald Christie had sent me a gentle invitation to Dinner,—an improbable thing! But he had been busy about Cromwell-rubbish of mine; had called &c: I decided to go up after tea in the evg. That got me quit of Redwood,—and I went. Helps and another Cambridge Vacancy in white neck[c]loth4 were there; Christie himself dull and narrow; a little Wife full of vivacity and the smallest of talk;5 the House extremely small, with shut doors and a potent oil-lamp:— Part of my headache, I believe, is due to all that, tho' I drank merely one small cup of coffee and did not stay above an hour. Eheu [Alas]—what a business is the society of Adam's Posterity becoming for me! A considerable of a bore for most part.— Helps walked home to the door with me. We saw Green the aeronaut just got aloft from Vauxhall;6 throwing out all manner of fireworks, red, green, and indigo-coloured stars, and transitory milky-ways, the best he could poor devil. He was hanging a goodish way up in the air; quite invisible except a fluster of confused fire-works which looked very small in the great waste deep of things, and he did not last above half a minute in all. No paltrier phenomenon was ever contrived for the solacement of human souls. I figured the wretched mortal sailing thro' the chill clear moonshiny night, destitute of any object now, and with peril of his life for the sake of keeping his life in; and had a real pity for him.—

Elizabeth Pepoli has been here today inquiring for you; “she and a lady at the door in a carriage.” She came a former day, perhaps a fortnight ago; but I forgot to mention it.

By the bye Christie told me last night that Lawrence the Painter was actually off to Essex copying that head of Cromwell for the Chapman and Hall people.7 I am glad of it,—if he will do it well.

Do you at due seasons distribute compliments from me to all the Party there? It wd be highly the part of a thrifty Wife to do so! They really are meant tho not written.

Adieu dear Goody: why should I tattle in this way any more? Walking will be better. Take care of thyself, take care of thyself, and do not get into the way of missing sleep.— I will out, and try this headache with a walk. Adieu Dearest.

T. C.