The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN ; 8 October 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18501008-TC-JCA-01; CL 25: 256-257


Chelsea, 8 Octr, 1850—

Dear Jean,—I am here, alone, since Wednesday Night; you may perhaps have heard of my movements: how I went to Cumberland, but found no continuance there; then on into Westmoreland (with my Cumberland hosts), but found ditto ditto, in a still stronger degree; and so, at last, saw myself constrained to “sling my kit,” and get away home, to see if there were any quiet and comfort attainable in the solitude there. My railway ride was not so bad as many have been; and I arrived accordingly. Alas, the little maid that waits on me here is full of “inexperience,” tho' a fine little creature otherwise; so that unmixed good was not attainable here either; nay, what was worse, Jane knew too well all the shortcomings of this handmaid (having indeed already provided a successor for her, properly up to her work); Jane took on, and made herself miserable on my account, and got no good of her country advantages where she is: so, in fine, it has been arranged that I am to go and join her there, for the next 12 days;—and accordingly tomorrow I am off, on the tramp once more, happily only a journey of 2 hours by rail; and am to meet the poor Dame tomorrow about 3 o'clock. That is my history up to this date. In spite of all evils, I feel plainly strengthened by my country operations: the 12 days more of it, I hope, will not throw me back, but advance me.— I heard too how James took my mother down to Scotsbrig; I have regularly heard of all things: no teeth for poor Mother, ah me!— — My haste just now is extreme: but if you write within 12 days, the address is, The Lord Ashburton's / The Grange / Alresford / Hants /: tell Jenny about these things also;—and thanks many for the patience and kindness you shewed to me. God bless you all. Your ever affecte

T. Carlyle