July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 10 October 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18471010-TC-JWC-01; CL 22: 125-126


Greta Bank, Keswick, Sunday [10 October 1847]

My dear little Jeannie,—I write one word today, on hest of absolute necessity; yesterday it was not possible, as the Posts were situated, and at any rate you could only have got the Letter in the morning instead of evening.— Understand then, in brief, that tomorrow (Monday) I am not coming; but that I am on Tuesday; that on Tuesday night at 11 o'clock I expect, if all go right, to be at Euston Square, and shortly thereafter at Chelsea beside you, where I shall be very glad again to be. This is the essential of my news; this, in defect of more, will do.

I left Scotsbrig, as per program, at six on Friday morning; wet raw morning; I unslept (or almost so), tattered to pieces with various confusions and emotions: a more wretched day and night (the second sleepless one of Friday) I have not had for many a long month. Ah me! my poor old Mother; poor old Annandale, poor old Life in general! And in that shattered state of the nerves all stands before one with such a glaring ghastliness of hideous reality. However, I did get a little sleep last night; today I am considerably more composed.

James Spedding, with a fine brisk pair of horses and a comfortable hooded carriage, was waiting for me at Wigton: all went right and well on that side, and a warm welcome was ready for me at Mirehouse (the Father's place), where I found Laurence just come; and T. Spedding with his Wife &c &c to do honour to the dinner. Only sleep was none! Your Letter, shortest of the Letter kind attended me too. Here is the Ambleside missive back again:1 nothing will come of it at present. Yesterday we moved hither, close by Keswick, “Tom's house,” Laurence & James with me; a beautiful place, in spite of the rain: here is the starting-place of the Coach which leads to the Railway, which leads to &c: I leave this on Tuesday as I said for Monday would not do for the hospitalities); Tuesday at 9 a.m.;—and after various shiftings get to Chelsea, and end these travels for a long while, I hope! Laurence has got a proof here of the Lithograph2 (his Copy of the Photograph); actually! It is very black and ugly, and I think will hardly do. You too are to see a proof, however; and to make your decision.—

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Frontispiece, CL Volume 20

Daguerrotype of Thomas Carlyle, April 1846, mailed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, 30 April 1846.

Reproduced by permission of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association and the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

No Letter now can come till I come myself. Adieu, my own Poor Goody, till we meet—soon! I wish I were there. Yours ever T. Carlyle