The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 1 April 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530401-TC-JWC-01; CL 28: 97-98


The Grange, 1 April, 1853—

Thanks for your nice little Letter; even with nothing to tell but the flight of the Cat, you can make a very pretty story; and beat most of us “for a deep thought.” In my greed I hope farther I may get another Notekin tomorrow morning,—tho' that is rather uncertain hoping:—but otherwise I shall hear no more of you till I come home.

I could hardly get my big packet read at all this morning: the man George was too late in calling me, and I had fallen again into a dead sleep, which might have lasted till noon, had he let me alone: the consequence was, bells began wringing1 before I was out of the bath; and so, tho' very cold, I had to run direct down to breakfast, to eat in a frozen stupified manner, hardly knowing what; and the ill effects cleave to me all day, hardly to be remedied by the strictest fasting for the time that yet is. “Indigestion” fatal maid, she, let me do as I will, is my steady companion in these localities.— I wandered up to the little mosshouse with my letters lately, and there got them read a second time, with all deliberation at last. The Mackenzie letter is really something curious for me;2 the Parker I could have wished rather not to see just now, 3 for there is another to a fool in Edinburgh which I must write in consequence of it, and I have not the address till I get home. Dilberoglue's strangle4 little missive struck Miss Farrar with its hieroglyphs at breakfast; and I had to shew it to her and Lady An: but they neither made much out of it, I guess.

We had a tempestuous loud-howling night of it, last night; my chimney smoking &c upstairs: but there is, as was to be expected, a much softened temperature today, and beautiful grey west-wind copiously blowing. All the active world has been out shooting waterfowl on the Lake; and have just ended, and gone from luncheon again, while I was out on the hill; nobody here but a silent Venables just now;—and I am to have my solitary pony in a little while, which will answer quite as well for me today.

Reichenbach's transaction with that Silesian Sutor was very noble on his part, but is sad to think of; for the little weazel of a creature must have cheated us both. There is nothing more certain than that these are the same pair of shoes, with the greater part o[f] them cut away to stockings; for my part I should much prefer to have them in their original state, were that now conceivable. Anyway I want to see no more of the man, and he had better stay by his awls on monday night.

Tomorrow our three “established men” go, and nothing will remain but Miss Farrar and I: on Monday I am to “take care of Miss Farrar”;—I fancy about 5 o'clock will be the time for dining me that day, if all go well.

We had Trench last night, very fat and happy;—Venables & he unite in much (to me incredible) praise of Preciosa,5 to which Lady An sometimes answer[s]6 that you describe it as by a “female Helps.” The Vaudreuil Book was in the burning Carriage during last year's German trip; and a scorched copy of it was produced on your recommendation being mentioned.

Lord An did a bright act of Country-gentlemanship last night: alarm of fire in the distance was given in (on a slip of paper) at dinner; Lord An silently withdrew, flung on a cloak, galloped out thro' storm and darkness which soon became torrents of rain; some six miles off, one of his own farmers; and we saw no more of him till towards eleven. Farmer quite burnt out of house; cattle saved, no crop to save: insured or not? don't know.— —Here is the pony, I must off. Adieu dearest.


5 p.m. Returned from a solitary ride of two hours, very cold-fingered, having had showers and no gloves on hand; but not cold otherwise, and considerably improved by my windy locomotion.—“Tea is come” too; so that, under pain of slops, I must cease.

Adieu then, Jeannie dear. Till Monday, if we prosper.—My regards to Nero & the unsettled Cat.

Yours ever truly /

T. Carlyle