October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 17 October 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451017-TC-MAC-01; CL 20: 30-31


SEAFORTH, LIVERPOOL, Friday, 17 Oct'r, 1845.

MY DEAR MOTHER,—I hope you have, this morning, got the little Note I pushed into the Post Office for you at Lancaster, and consoled yourself with the assurance that all the difficult part of my journey was well over. I am quite safe, and in good quarters here, since yesterday afternoon; and will now write you another word with a little more deliberation than yesterday. My journey hither was altogether really pleasant: a fine bright day, and a swift smooth carriage to sit in, nothing wanted that one could wish on such an occasion. I got along to this house about half past four, when dinner was ready and a welcome as if it had been home,—real joy to me. It has all gone much better than I could have expected since I quitted Kirtlebrig1 and Jamie, that night.

I find the good people here did send their carriage for the Steamer; and a very wild adventure that was, and much better that I had but little to do with it, and could plead that I had forbidden them to do such a thing! The Paulet carriage went duly to the Clearance Dock, after inquiring at the Steamer Office too, and waited for the Royal Victoria from half past 8 on Wednesday night till past 12, when the Docks close; but no Royal Victoria came! She did not make her appearance till noon yesterday, owing to fog or wind, or what cause I have not yet heard,—not till twelve o'clock yesterday; when the Paulet carriage was again in attendance: but of course there was no guest there; the guest was advancing by another much less uncomfortable route! On the whole it was a good luck I did not get into that greasy Whale's Belly (as I call it); twenty-four hours there would have reduced me to a precious pickle!

Our journey to Lancaster as I told you was decidedly prosperous, almost pleasant thro' the moonlight country, with plenty tobacco to smoke! The wild solitude of Shap Fell2 at midnight is a thing I really like to have seen. And then the railway yesterday was all the welcomer, and the daylight. At Carlisle I got myself a pound of tobacco from Irving,3 so do not fret your heart, dear Mother, about that! I also took out my old dressing-gown there and wrapt it well round my legs, which was useful. A small proportion of corn, you may tell Jamie, was still in the fields here and there all the way; but to-day and last night there is a rustling thuddening4 North wind which must have dried it.