August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 17 August 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460817-JWC-TC-01; CL 21:16-17.


Carlton Terrace, Green Heys, Manchester, Monday, 17 August, 1846.

My dear Husband—I am very grieved at all this uneasiness you have had for want of Letters. To punish you was far as possible from my thoughts. Often as I have pained you, first and last, I never caused you intentional pain, so far as I remember, and cannot fancy that I should ever be so “far left to myself” as to do that.

I did not answer your first Letter to Seaforth by return of Post, because I was feeling myself really frightfully ill, and could not have written at the moment without saying so; and I did not wish to make you anxious about me,—more anxious than you already were. I could have written on my arrival in Manchester on Monday, but in the Letter I got from you that morning before starting, you said you were going to Dumfries. I had been mistaken as to the day you were to be at Carlisle—fancied it Wednesday—and so, that you would not return to Scotsbrig but go through from Dumfries to Carlisle; and then I was meaning to go myself to Maryland Street on Thursday. In the helpless sort of mood I was in, I let myself believe that no Letters could pass between us for two or three days; and when I wrote on Thursday, it was in full assurance that I was “taking time by the forelock,” having a Letter at Scotsbrig lying ready for you on your return. And so I managed to have it there just exactly in the wrong moment, the very day you went away,—as I discovered to my sorrow on Friday night when I received the Letter you wrote on your return from Dumfries. It had been to Maryland Street as well as to Seaforth! The other two followed on Saturday and Sunday, every one making me more vexed. But there was then nothing to be done but just to let the result of my miscalculation and mismanagement work itself out.

For the rest, I have no cause to regret my visit to Manchester, but every reason to be thankful that I came when I did and staid as I have done. I shall have many things to tell you of it when we meet; for by Geraldine's skilful management my mind has been kept wide awake with one thing or another all day long.— But I must not get into “narration” just now, for having walked four or five miles thro' the fields last night after dark, I lay too long in bed this morning,—considering that we have to start at twelve to spend the day with—Bamford! who promised to tell us witch-stories among the glens of Balachly.1 He is a fine sturdy old fellow, Bamford …

It follows then that I do not go to Liverpool to-day either,—not till Wednesday; for, to-morrow, I have to see a Foundry and a Printing-mill and a Warehouse.

I saw the Box nailed up and sent off to the Countinghouse before my departure. … I am very indisposed for Maryland Street; in fact look forward to Wednesday with a sort of terror!

My kind love to them all.

Ever yours,