The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 30 September 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500930-TC-JWC-01; CL 25: 240-241


Keswick, 30 Septr, 1850

A word in the utmost hurry, Dearest; better than none at all! For we are going off to Coniston,1 and my Address is again changing: ay de mi, when will these “changes” terminate, and a place of rest be found!

Your Letter came yesterday at our early dinner time (2 o'clock, in spite of Dietetics!),—“twopence to pay sir!” the Note having proved too heavy in the Post-office Three sheets of thinnish Notepaper will do; thick and with copious wax, it is too much.— It was a cheap purchase nevertheless; and I right thankful for the punctuality of Goody.

My poor Mother's teeth-speculation proves utterly a failure; the man cannot do it without more fret, and annoyance probably of a permanent nature (for he needs to put two rows, with wire joint &c), than will outride all the benefit to so old a person— Thus John reports. And they are to return to Scotsbrig today, without any result. I am infinitely sorry, disappointed,—sad on that and all accounts. But what can I do,—except hold my tongue. John writes earnestly that I must come back to Scotsbrig: alas, alas, there is no place for me there, I fear; however I have not quite finally refused till I write from Coniston.

Here I have done little good; lost a good deal of my sleep; gone pining about in the wild blustery weather (whh today happily is bright); regretted much the scarcity of coals; in short been very dull (for T. S. does not shine in talk at prest by himself, and besides is a little in opposition to me since the L. D. Pamphlts I think); so that Marshalldom, whh at any rate brings me nearer to the railway and readier either for North or South, is welcome rather than not Tennyson is there with sick wife (and I hope with tobacco pipes), Jas Spedding do, Aubrey de Vere whom I saw yesterday here is to be there if I will wait:—unfortunately they do not dine till 7 or 8 o'clock, and I shall have little chance to sleep: Patience, patience! I must again endeavour to be quiet and do the best I can!— — Yesterday we, S. and I, rowed across to an Island in Keswick Lake,2 and there found Henry Marshall with wife and Child,3 with Ld & Lady Monteagle, Auby de Vere and Lady do:4 all well and lively. You can tell Mrs Taylor5 her Father was the youngest man I have seen this half-year, and merry as a maltman (or rather put it into language of your own!)— Then we called on poor Dr Leitch, an unfortunate of John's, who has lost his face6 (horrible to look upon) but is still busy and hopeful— And, so here with 30 miles before us in brisk North wind, we are packing again. Oh Goody, Goody, eheu! If I can I will write again tomorrow. Adieu

T. Carlyle