The Collected Letters, Volume 26


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 14 September 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510914-JWC-TC-01; CL 26: 174-175


Sunday [14 September 1851]

Here is Lady Stanley's note,1 just come along with yours both—read in bed at a rather advanced hour of the day! Geraldine's servants having thought it a pity to disturb me by bringing up my letters, and I taking it for granted there were none, since none appeared— The fact is, that we are all ill here and that every thing is rushing down into chaos!— Yesterday I rose with a headach which in the afternoon got complicated with sore-throat I was very ill all night, and thought that I should probably die without seeing you again! But when old Peggy had given me some breakfast in bed; I perceived that little was really the matter with me, only a cold in the head which I had certainly myself to blame for— Geraldine and Frank had also to breakfast in bed—and so the letters were kept below—I only got them at twelve and I jumped up instantly, to answer them by the first post—had a frantic purpose of rushing in to town by Omnibus in the state I was in—to post a letter for you into the General Post office before 2—! But the image of Simon Brodie2 rose before me—and I considered that in the first place such haste was impossible and in the second place that it was useless—as the letter could not reach Scotsbrig much sooner for arriving at Ecclefechan in the middle of the night! You will get it tomorrow afternoon, if it leave by the second Post—and as you are all ready for starting; you can still come off, with a fixed prospect, on Tuesday morning— You see that, as I thought, the Stanleys would like to have us over before the end of the week— If we go there on Wednesday morning, we shall have two days of it—enough probably for all practical purposes—and then there will be time left for your visit to Paris— I hope in goodness I shall have got this cold under before you come— I shall write to Lady S that we shall be with them on Wednesday—and I shall not write any more to you at this sitting for I am really full of comfortlessness and stupidity from head to foot.

The pen is excellent, but has not had any justice done to it— How do you come to have got buttons there when I sent you very nice ones?—

Love to your Mother and the rest—I dreamt last night that I had gone home to Haddington to see my Mother—and found a good fire and tea all set out, with a sort of purple-coloured draps3 we once had (which I have not remembered these twenty years) but she did not come—and I sat waiting and waiting till it slowly came over me that she was dead, and I awoke myself with a cry—to find my head splitting and my throat refusing to swallow— In short I had best write no more today—

Your ever affectionate

Jane W Carlyle.

You had best bring your luggage straight here and one cab will do for taking us away— I spoke to Mrs Gaskell and she was enchanted at the notion of having you