candlestick

1850


The Collected Letters, Volume 25


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TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 4 October 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18501004-TC-JWC-01; CL 25: 248-250


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE

Chelsea, 4 Octr, 1850—

Don't “cry,” you foolish dear little Goody; there is no cause at all for crying! And the “comfort” you shall have in this matter (so soon as the Devil is got quite away, which he shall by ——!) will be of a much more authentic sort than the one which now “aggravates” you: I shall know better than I ever did what the comfort to me is of being received by you, when I arrive worn out, and you welcome me with your old smiles, and the light of a human fire and human home! Shall it not be so? I say it shall!

My own private most “authentic wish” is very clear to me, this morning, with this pile of letters, as it has in silence all along been. That you were here to wrap my sore skin and soul safe against injury of noise or kitchen-poison, and let me stay, and sleep and rest till that Paris expedition come off (if it do come off, and I have gathered strength for it): that clearly, were I alone in this world, wd be my authentic wish, and shd be my realised resolution here and now, did it depend wholly on myself and my “wishes.” But on the the other hand, I suppose I disoblige Lady A., who certainly does not deserve that of me; you also I cut off from two weeks more of country, which is supposed to be doing you good;—and to say truth, O Goody, I do not think even you, without incessant fret and bother, and slaving of yourself like a Cookmaid, could quite save me from this Taupie; whom it will be much better for us to dismiss handsomely, according to your scheme, and replace quàm primum [as soon as possible] by somebody that understands the work she is paid wages for. If you have such a one in view, delay not to secure her: if she can be ready agt the appointed “20th,” so much the better.

My present notion therefore is, You shall meet me at the Railway on Wednesday next, and I will try The Grange again till your term is out. I mean to try if I can stipulate for a horse and solitary riding, from her Ladyship; if she knew how advantageous it is, no official of the stables wd prevent it! This I will try; and with nobody but Brookfield &c, and plenty of woods and downs around me, perhaps I too may be able to repose myself there, and get better sleep than I have ever done since quitting home. Of whh latter requisite God knows I am in need enough. I know the room you have (minus Taylorlets) is very quiet: is there not a side-room to it where I could lodge close by you, and so save you from a flitting? This is my plan: Wedy if that is your “authentic wish”;—otherwise, O foolish crying Goody, that you wd do (and bid me do) what is your wish. And don't mind Mrs Henry,1 or take any “wits” from her that you don't return with interest: I should think you might be trusted for the rate of interest,—you Chreosote incarnate, or spiritual “Essence of Soot”!2— On Wedy happily Taylordom will have quite struck its camp; from that extraordinary figure of human magnanimity Good Lord deliver me—just now! Write then, if you want it so, or changed in any way; there is time in spite of Sunday.

I have had to write to Spedding &c: I have written to the Washerwoman also (tho' she is not indispensable); I have paid nearly all my money away to the Taxgatherers this morning,—and need very much to do as I intended, Call on Chapman and make him come down! After a word to Lady An, who is still to answer, I am off for Chapman. And there is need of speed! Jack's letter of today, and what he says about my Mother, comforts me a good deal.

I have still made no hand of sleep, and feel accordingly. I went to bed last night with the best omens; was just falling over, when something,—the fall of a plate of sheet-iron on some neighbouring floor? No, the kick of one of Chancellor's3 horses sounding agt its stall thro' the ambrosial night,—struck me broad awake again; and it was long before I bethot me of the sorry cause: and I had a pill in me, and there was no bread discoverable; no &c &c: and so it was towards Two before, by the exertion of philosophy, I got into oblivion of my wearinesses. The House is like a china tea-tray for cleanness and perfection of arrangt: but Oh, there is a want of Goody, at every turn such a want!—

The poor maid does all that you promised for her; one of the most assiduous punctual creatures: but on the whole she is a Taupie (by circumstance if not by nature), and falls short within narrow limits accordingly. Till Wednesday she will, with watching and driving a little, do altogether well: but longer—? She can sew, however, and I employ her so withal. She did me an excellt mutton-chop yesterday (and I found brandy); today she is trying her hand on chicken broth. This morning we made an experiment on Coffee; but that shall be the last!— Adieu, Oh Goody, Goody; and don't cry another tear; but write for Monday morning, and be good to me!

Ever your own /

T. Carlyle