October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 12 October 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451012-JWC-TC-01; CL 20: 25-27


Sunday [12 October 1845]

Considering that a letter of twelve pages will reach you in the course of nature tomorrow morning; another for Tuesday morning seems to [be] about as superfluous as Mr Kenny's second twin!1 Nevertheless to be punctual to orders, this little sheet comes “hopping to find you in the same”

I have been from twelve today till now (six in the evening with old Sterling He came to ask me to drive and dine with him after; which humble prayer I could comply with in both its branches—the day being Sunday—and nothing particular a-doing at home. In passing along Brompton road he suddenly pulled the check-string and said to me in a solemn voice “Now! Will you please to accompany me to the Regions of the Dead”?— “Certainly not”! said I, and called to the Coachman “drive on”! He is rapidly improving in his physical part, but the head is confused as much as ever. He began crying about his Wife today—and after declaring that “she had reason to be satisfied with his grief for her loss—finished off with “And now I say it really and religiously, I have just one hope left and that is—to be left a widower as soon as possible”!

On my return I found on the table the cards of Mrs Norton and Mrs Austin—“How these two women do hate one another”!2 But they are now it would seem not ashamed to drive out together. I was rather sorry to have missed Mrs Norton— The Alexander Gordons have been summering in a House of Lord Landsdown at Richmond—and Mrs Austin taking advantage of the same3 Who should drop in on me yesterday at dinner but little Bölte—looking fat and almost contented— She was passing thro with one of her pupils whom she [has]4 been living with six weeks at Seven Oaks to be near a Dr “for diseases of the Skin.” She had fallen in there with a fine Lady who possessed Mr Carlyles works and said she liked them in many respects and always took his part in Public—that there was one thing about him “deeply to be deplored” Bölte asked “what?”— “Why you know on certain subjects Mr Carlyle thinks for himself and that is so very wrong”! I have not seen John since Tuesday—cannot imagine what is come of him. I dare not advise about Seaforth—you must follow your own humour—this I am sure of that they will be heartily glad to see you if you do go— Perhaps my Uncle and the rest are home by this time—I am not sure

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