August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


TC TO JWC ; 25 August 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18570825-TC-JWC-01; CL 33: 49-51


Chelsea, 25 Augt (Tuesday) 1857

Well, you are an excellt encouraging Goody; that is certain! I had some thot yesterday, amid my disappointt when nothing came, that these “Sheets” might be concerned in it somehow; and so it proves this morning, when your Letter comes to season breakfast for me. An ever-encouraging Goody; it wd be worth while to write Books, if mankind wd read them as you do. Truly it is a merit I have all along experienced at your bits of hands; and I never forget it, nor will. All the same to you: from the first discovery of me you have predicted good in a confidt manner: all the same whether the world were singing chorus, or no part of the world dreaming of such a thing, but of much the reverse. “No, by Allah,” I do not forget it! (I have gone out, quietly put away a yellow scoundrel,1 and now I resume)— The fact is, that part of the Book is better than what follows. We must take the evil and the good. Habitually my feeling is, that the Book will be a botch and a wreck: but also that I must and shall get done with it. If I can stand fiercely to the thing for about a year more, we shall see! And actually the Printing goes on apace; and every week (not witht travail,—last Saturday and Sunday all spent over sheets for instance!) I do get rid of a bit of it, and down it tumbles never to torment me more. Steady, steady!—

I have seen numbers of people since you last heard; no adventure otherwise, and all well. A poor man2 had written to me asking about Sterling's Poems;3 I took his Note, with a line written on it, to Anthony's4 one ride (Friday perhaps); Anthy was in: I dismounted & saw the man. Fat and hearty; building ship models, all surrounded by tenon-saws, compasses, lathes, and small stipes of the thinnest wood. “Wife5 locked up mad; nothing else to do,” &c &c. Undertook to deal with the poor Poem creature; and even to send him copies. Campbell, he thinks, is before Delhi ten days ago.6 Man that was at it (Barnard, since dead of cholera) shd (and cd, as I learn otherwise) have broken into the place at once, and cut the heart of it in two; but was a poor creature & could not.7 Anthy has still a thought Campbell may send for him, I see. serving in the meanwhile some Coll Something Campbl's substitute here,—whom all the lazy regts are rejoicing over:8 Ay will continue with him six weeks, then they ought to make him Coll in full, by routine of things: after that, if no India, there is selling out and amateur ship-carpentry.— He has an excellent Zinc House,9 poor fellow, and makes it do.

Saturday, Darwin came just when I was going out: let us dine together at the Athenm tomorrow, I proposed in the enthusiasm of the moment and so it had to be. Not so bad at all. Darwin was very good and quiet; I had walked, instead of ridden, after my Proofsheets: you never saw so tired a dog as Nero in the heat (abt 4 p.m.): I took refuge in Darwin's10 (Lady Sandh off and away); begged a saucer of water for Nero, and a drive down this way in the carriage, to leave the wretch,—who was merry as a grig by the time we got hither. Dinner of boiled mutton; rather bad,—but I thot perhaps you were getting none. Coffee and tea at Darwins,—and a body of Wedgwoods,11 at least 2 and John Allen!12 Hensleigh Wedgwood rode himself terrifically saddle-sick on a slow horse, somewhere in the Lago Maggiore country13 one day; could ride no way, any more; and so is home again, leaving Mrs to enjoy “Kissingen Baths”14 &c &c. Alas, alas, my dear; time is all up here; Anne with her “Ready Sir!” a 1/4 hour ago; and I must off, off! God bless thee poor little soul. At Haddington a word if not sooner. Adieu / T. Carlyle

No 2 / Upstairs, after dinner; having still ten minutes,—I re-resume:15

Lady Sandwich I have never seen since that Sunday Evg before leaving Addiscombe (or going to bed with intentn to leave). I avoided the House next week till Buonapartism16 were gone: calling week next or next again, flunkey inarticulately reported in “Country Sir”, “not for ten days”: calling yesterday (as you heard) there was still nothing there, “Country” (same place I rather thought), and “not for 10 days!” If you had heart and leisure for a Note to the poor old Lady, it wd gratify her for moments, and soon bring news from her.

Our weather is as hot as yours,—oven-hot up here just now. I stript my flannel-shirt today; but durst not persevere; under the awning in what draught there was I grew afraid, remembering my former dose in that kind, and resumed the thick flannel. Yesterday the wind too had left us: I have seldom felt a hotter day. It will be all over soon; and the last scorch we get this year,—everything will be cool and nice for Goody's return

“Thea ’Oss is hea Sir!” I hear that come muffled upstairs, like a summons of Court;—and there is the clock striking too. Adieu dearest: I was so busy yesterday; I wd have written in spite of the disappt all the same. But the hours ran by. Geraldine said she was to write.

Yours ever / T.C.