July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


JWC TO MARY SMITH ; 19 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580819-JWC-MS-01; CL 34: 148-149


BAY HORSE, ALVERSTOKE, HANTS, 19th August, [1858.]

Dear Miss Smith,

“If this meet your eye,” (as the Times advertisements say,1 “you are requested to communicate” with Mrs. Carlyle, 5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea.

In fact, my present note is by way of dove sent forth from the ark, to try if it can find rest for the sole of its foot, and bring back an olive leaf from you2 to the effect that you are still in Carlisle, and still recollecting me with the old kind of feeling.

In that case, I should direct my energies towards “carrying out” an idea that has suggested itself to me of a meeting between us face to face.3

I am going to Scotland, please God, the end of next week; and have arranged to sleep at Carlisle on the road. I cannot nor shall I be able to tell you beforehand what inn I shall stop at. I am in the hands of a lady who will meet me on my arrival, having come all the way from Nithsdale “to have my tea and bed ready.” But if I were sure of your being still in Carlisle, and sure about your present address, I would find some means of letting you know my whereabouts and the hours of my stay.

I return to London on Monday next (23rd). If you get this note in regular course, please to send an answer to the old address. But besides the probability of your having changed your old address, I do not even remember quite certainly what it was!! So my dove goes forth “under difficulties”—decidedly.

Yours truly,


9 (or 11) West Tower-street, Carlisle