October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 24 May 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570524-TC-JWC-01; CL 32: 152-154


Chelsea, 24 May, 1857—

If anything happened yesterday to my poor weak Goody, like missing the train, like &c &c, I should be in a fine taking. It went into me like a knife when Anne coming up stairs, about some “Horse acct from Till,”1 or other superfluity answered my inquiry “is Missus neard ready?” with “Gone about five minutes ago; left you her love, but would not on any account have you disturbed!”— — Well, well; I recognised the kindness; but it made miserable, whenever it started up again, all the afternoon. My “work” too, alas, that as sometimes happens, did not at last amount to much up here. Busy drawing water for many hours; & from the deep Brandenburg Well, comes nothing but a coil of wet rope, and one is vaixt!

In the afternoon's ride I met Ld Grey with whom I had some goodish talk, till Edwd Sterling, “dressed like a fancy,”2 and very foolish-looking, came up and joined us; upon whh the Lordship had to canter away. We were speedily reinforced by Farie; upon whh I rode with the two to Grosvenor Square, and

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“The Royal visitors in the nave of the Art-Treasures Exhibition Building”

Illustrated London News, 11 July 1857


there got off. Poor Lady S.3 was very wae and feckless, yet rallying perceptibly to live: I sat too long with her; then fell in with Milnes on my return; and was quite late before dinner,—but, alas, there was nobody to scold me here!

It was half an hour too late for dressing for the Goderichs, and I was quite fluttered and knocked awry, when Kingsley, at that late hour, came in upon me; stamm[er]ed4 babbled, and did nothing but smoke a little tobacco,—till I absolutely broke off, and went most of the way in a Cab. It was all very well; the Goderichs good with a small dull party (Bruces, Doyle, fat-boy's Brother-in-law5); and I had a wholesome walk home, and got no hurt of it. Kingsley, I rather guess, will return upon me tonight “about ten o'clock": I could have well dispensed with a man so useless to me.

Today I tried some scribble quietly up here; then at 3½ p.m. Milnes came by agreement; and we had a long slow ride together, Streatham, Clap-ham, Brixton6 &c;—tolerably good, not so interesting as might have been expected: but the day was delightful in point of weather;—and I thot always at E. Hampstead you might be doing well somewhere out of door.

Provided you slept; poor little soul I hope you did! If not, there is no good going for us today.— Tomorrow morning I shall hear. I will put this in tonight at Sloane street, perhaps you may get it tomorrow morning after all. Respectful salutations to her Ladyship, if you judge it fit. God bless you, Dearest—

T. Carlyle 7