The Collected Letters, Volume 28


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 13 July 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530713-TC-JWC-01; CL 28: 199-201


Chelsea, 13 july, 1853—

Well, my poor little Pilgrim, I hope you have got (shortly after this Letter) safe to Scotsbrig,—on your birthday, as it chances;—and I will with my whole heart bid you welcome there. I am really grieved at your little disappointment in your Moffat calculations; and, tho' it is like water to my own mill (being an unprotected here), I will not take advantage of it! If you could stay there deliberately till your appetite for rustication were somewhat nearly satisfied, surely I should like it better than any lodging for you; and it strikes me perhaps you may or might? At any rate I suppose they will heartily try (for you are well liked there, and a good deal of natural human politeness exists there, in a form that you can recognise too; and there is perfect cleanliness &c, only not perfect silence, at least not without study and contrivance): so I will leave my good dear little Jeanny in that kind element; and she and it will see what they can make out between them. You will live in the other end from my poor Mother; and will not be together more than is good for both parties. But I charge you, if you can in anything, act for me there: ay de mi, ay de mi what could “I” do if even I were there!— At all events, send me further correct accounts; I see in your records as I can do in no other. And surely you will not let me want for Letters now in such an idle region for you? And Nero will go upon the tewheets; and you can tell him, I am to run half in all he catches!—

No, I did not forget your Birthday, Dearest; but I have been very unfortunate,—as with the best intentions I too often am! The fact is, I had purchased a ridiculous Print which had often struck me in Burlington Arcade; with this I meant to make you a mock heroic gift which would have done: but lo, yesternight when I set to practically packing it for travel by post, I found difficulties (the wretched shopkeeper having misunderstood me in framing of the thing)—I found impossibilities, and after working from dinner till light failed me over it, I had fairly to give it up (about nine o'clock), in a most vaixed humour, and go down to tea. After tea, I replaced it in its frame, put your Nigger Question beside it; tied it up, dated, with paper and string, laid it in your toilet drawer; and there it shall lie unfingered till you are driven home to me again. It might have given you & the rest of them a bit of laughing at Scotsbrig; but it fairly could not come. And so I have nothing to send you, nothing at all, but that poor Johnson, which is of the nature of an empty emblem, and was meant merely to bring up the rear of the poor Print.1— God bless you Dearest, on this and on all days; and may the worst of our years and days be over!—

Twistleton called by bargain, went to walk with me the day I bot that scrubby Print. Really a sensible dialogue we had, such as I get seldom; an honest and a friendly kind of soul. Clough is come but cannot yet decide! I found him yesterday at Bath House; brought him down to Sloane Square with me,—very indistinct and rather dullish withal.2— — The Addiscombe pilgrimage did no good and little ill: I walked out in the afternoon; found a great crowd, Lady Dufferin & sons,3 Milnes & Wife, Lord Gifford4 &c &c, dreary & confused; and was brot home by Ben & Lord Granville in a very kind way. Adieu Dearest. T. Carlyle