The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 8 December 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511208-TC-JWC-01; CL 26: 254-255


Chelsea, 8 decr, 1851—

Thanks, dear Jeannie, for your nice little Letter, tho' the news was bad. I had my own fears about that miserable cold, and meant to say on Saturday that you were to come home at once if it grew too bad;—which must be still your rule. Our weather here is now absolutely beautiful, and even Anne is getting better of her cold.

I executed a deal of riding yesterday; and after near four hours of foot and horse exercise, was at South Place1 little after time. “Mutton-chop with Ford”: there was a grand dinner, when I arrived there en frac [in frock coat]; Mrs Ford, Laurence, one Cunningham a little Wine-mercht;2 the girls all dressed like tulips and Mrs S.3 in due form; Anthony himself in white waistcoat, and all very grand indeed! I was really provoked, but said nothing: happily I was clean as new snow,—and had not come in my pilot jacket; and in short couldn't help it. Ford, tho' a man without humour or any gracefulness or loveability of character, is not the worst of men to dine with at all; has abundance of authentic information (not duller than Macaulay's, and much more certain, and more social too), and talks away about Spanish wines, anecdotes and things of Spain; his wife too has sense:—I got away about 11, not quite ruined, tho' not intending to go back soon. Botheration!— You are very welcome, as you always were, to write to Anthony Sterling, my dear, when you have anything to say to him. Nothing wrong did I ever suspect you of meaning to say to him or to anybody; to him as little as to some others:—but I confess affairs there are reduced to a most absurd, distressing and even partly disgusting situation, on some sides; which is not to be mended for the present! Happily, as I would in any case get little or no good of poor Ay, my loss is the less. Let it stand then there. Poor Mrs Ay did not look a bit madder than usual; but has a wild glance in her eyes too. Those poor girls! I felt really sorry about them, poor young souls; I wish you or my self or any one could contrive some shadow of help for them in their present mad position.

Plattnauer came in the morning yesterday, as if you had been here; then begged to be admitted to me with “the news from France, for one moment”; which took effect—news all nonsense:— — — Out upon it here is the horse, and I am not dressed a bit! Evidently I must stop, tho' my heart is sore to do it, Dearest, in this way for I had much more to say,—at least in the way of clatter. Oh be good to me, good to thyself. Trust in me, I bid you! Adieu, dearest.— Yours ever

T. Carlyle

Nero quite well; studying diligently the 7 Years War4 along with me.