The Collected Letters, Volume 27


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 8 October 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18521008-TC-JWC-01; CL 27: 327-329


Berlin, 8 Octr, 1852—

Dearest, there has no Letter come from you this morning, as I fondly calculated there might have done; neither, I fear, will any now come: —in fact perhaps you had not anything to say to me, but what was already said: what could a letter have done for me? There are Painters and tumult still within hearing of your poor little citadel; perhaps you are still an out-lodger, much-suffering, much-endeavouring little soul;—Heaven grant there have not any illness come upon you: that I will not believe, haggard as my imagination is in these days! No, I shall find you well, and good to me; and with a harbour out of all our Morgan tribulations either attained or close in view. At all events, thank God these wretched travellings of mine are now on the point of ending: by the mercy of Heaven, these are nearly over, whatever is to follow them: this is, according to all calculation, the Last Letter I shall send you out of foreign parts for some time. We set out tomorrow; leave this restless Babel of a place tomorrow; straight towards Ostend and England; and by the best estimate I can form, I may hope to arrive sometime in the day (perhaps forenoon) of Wednesday first; and then fling down my walking-gear, none willinger to do it, and try to get a little rest again at last!— The proper hour (or even day?) I cannot quite predict to you, as I should have liked to do: I have urged and tried; but Neuberg is unusually unsuccessful, or unusually remiss in spite of all urging; and cannot find a Foreign Bradshaw here, at least does not: so all that is certain is, We do leave Berlin tomorrow (Saturday the 9th); go by Brunswick, by Hanover, Cologne; and so far as can be guessed, Neuberg will leave me at Cologne (Bonn is only 20 or 30 miles off) on Sunday night; and from thence on Tuesday evg at Ostend I find a Steamer direct for London; and this, in 17 or 20 hours more, is (if all go well) to land me at the Thames Custom house, and speedily thereafter Cadogan Pier, and poor old Cheyne Row (little antre where I hide in this world) will see me again. Nay it is possible I may even come the day before (on Tuesday namely): but that is not likely; and will happen only if my impatience and insomnolence rise to such a pitch that I travel on from Cologne witht rest at all, and by a route that is longer (round by Dover namely) tho' done in less time. Sorrow on the man that will not enable to settle and fix, that I might say decisively and save you the fuss of waiting!— I will keep this open; and question him again more strictly before this go to post. In my own person I can do no more for certainty in the affair. Don't fret yourself at any rate; be quiet till you do see me, poor Nero and you!—

I have had a terrible tumbling week at Berlin,—O what a month in general I have had; month of the profoundest, ghastliest solitude, in the middle of incessant talk and locomotion!—but here, after all, I have got my things not so intolerably done; and have accomplished what was reasonably possible. Perhaps it will not look so ugly, when once I am far away from it! In help from other people there has been redundancy rather than defect: one or two (especially a certain “Herr Professor Magnus,” the Chief Portrait-Painter here) have been quite marvellous with their civility. And on the whole it was usually rather a relief to get an hour (as now) to one's own self, and be left to private exertions and reflexions merely,—Ach Gott!—Yesterday I saw old Tieck:1 beautiful old man; so serene, so calm, so sad: I have also seen Cornelius, Rauch &c including Preuss the Historian of Fk,—all men, in short, for whom I had any use;—nay they had me in their Newspapers it wd appear; and wd gladly make a lion of me, if I liked. A lion that can get only half sleep is not the lion that can shine in that trade; so we decline. The Ambassador house has also been very good to me; got me into the Library with liberty to take Books home; invited me to dinner,—but Magnus had engaged me before, and I could only make it tea; no matter that, for they were all English commonplaces when I went. Lady Ashburton wrote (at Frankft I think) that when she heard I was fairly on the road to Berlin, she wd write to Radowitz &c: I did let her Ladyship hear (unless the Note miscarried), and in consequence I expected some movement from Radowitz or her in these parts; but there has nothing whatever of the kind taken place: which, on the whole, has been a convenience to me rather than otherwise; Radowitz except as a sight (and not much as that) being completely nothing to me, or even less in this pressure of persons; which again if Ld Ashburton had written abt his Kunstsachen [affairs in fine arts], I must have done something; and truly nothing on that hand has answered better.— Heigho, here has Magnus been, with a Print of Fk (small, scrubby but rare) by way of Andenken [souvenir]; and I must run to take farewell of the Ambassador (which will cost me 5d of cab-hire in the wet day);—and, on the whole, I must end for the present and say Good b'ye, Good b'ye— 5 p.m.Eccovi [Lo]! Here is the Letter after all; come safe and in right time, and nothing is fundamentally wrong;—and you are the cleverest little creature ever heard of in the world!— Yes, you are a “detective policeman,” you can find anything you try. God bless you, dear Goody mine,—and thanks, thanks!— — I have not a moment's time left; but this is the rationale of my coming home: If I grow dreadfully intent on getting forward on Monday in the Ostend quarter, you will see me on Tuesday, probably 10 or 11 forenoon: if (as is likelier) I have some patience left, then I shall sleep somewhere, and you will see me (Deo volente [God willing]) on Wednesday but not till noon or later. Ask not the reason of this mystery; it lies at Dover: Wedny abt noon, that is the likely time, if I have not come the day before! And now a thousand blessings, Goody Dearest,—and a crumb of sugar to poor Nero; and a happy meeting to us all!— Ever affectionate

T. Carlyle