The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 12 December 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511212-TC-JWC-01; CL 26: 267-268


Chelsea, 12 decr, 1851—

A thick black fog; one of the clammiest of dark days! How is your poor head, your poor throat with its cold? I need not ask,—till tomorrow.— Hurry as usual is extreme!

Lord Ashn writes, apparently before sight of my note to him, that the train is at one o'clock: I will study to be punctual.

Last night, just as tea was in prospect, and the hope of a quiet busy evening to a day completely lost,—enter, with a loud knock, poor Canadian W. Graham leading his little boy:1 a huge hairy goodhumoured stupid-looking fellow, the size of a house-gabel, and all over with hair except a little patch of the crown whh was bald;—the boy noisy snappish and inclined to be of himself intolerable. I gave them tea; tried to talk: poor W. has no talent: you expect goodhumoured idiomatic simplicity at least, and you do not get even that; he turns like a door on a hinge from every kind of opinion or assertion, and is a “Colossus of gossamer.”2 They bored me to death;—and at half-past 9, to comple[te]3 the matter, Saffi enters! Oh Heaven, the whole night, like the day, was a painful wreck for the rational soul of man!—

Macaire has been here this morning: You can tell Lady A. I literally cut him off with a shilling. He looked blue and miserable; but is evidently a lazy Beggar, and like to be nothing better: I let him know clearly he had quite cut himself off from Bath House by his ambiguous chiaroscuro ways;—and ought perhaps as the wisest he cd now do, to take the Sergeant's shilling: he started up in a kind of pretended paroxysm, and went on his way. My shilling wd get him a pot of beer; that was all one cd do for him. The poor Cooper lads have opened their shop today. Eheu! Adieu till tomorrow, Dearest.— T. Carlyle