January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


TC TO JWC ; 23 September 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590923-TC-JWC-01; CL 35: 213-214


The Gill, Friday 23 Septr, 1859—

Oh my poor little Goody, what news is this: whirling away towards London in these very hours; likely to arrive (under what auspices!) by the time this leaves me! The date “York” gave me a kind of shock, tho’ not a painful one, for I too am now willing that this affair shd end. But I did not calculate what a sharp despatching little Goody it was; I had been eagerly expecting tidings, to ground my own calculations on, were it nothing more; and I did not look for so complete a settlement witht more words wasted. If I only know how you slept last night! There is quite an idyllic picture of a poor little Goody honourably “taking her ease at her inn”: altogether pleasant, were it not for that dark prophetic shadow, too prophetic for my imagination at present. At the very best and lowest you will be “very tirde,” as poor Charlotte spells it. And the unblessed fit of “cold shivers,” hardly staved off by questionable methods: I am full of anxiety; I beg and again beg one word, the instant this comes to hand;—direct to Scotsbrig; it will find me there on Sunday as soon as I like to send: waiting till Tuesday will be intolerable.— And one thing more, don't flurry and bother about sorting the house &c; let all that, I entreat thee, lie as it likes to fall by gravitation; and do you too only lie, wrapt up, eyes at least shut (that is truly something, if you try it), and get by every method the completest rest achievable. For me there is nothing wanted when I come, except to find you unhurt: my bed, I doubt not, stands in the old place, and all else comes of its own accord.

I rode over hither, in a pensive not unlucky manner, on Monday Evg after writing to you: I found the warmest welcome, and the quiest1 lodging in the world (nowhere such a bed since I quitted my own); tailors all successfully at work; and a mild blessed sun, emblem of serene old age illuminating an old scene never scarce of meanings to me when I see it again. I could have been supremely well off, it seemed to me, but there has been a rattle of talk and noise of mind about me,—Jean2 here since the Tuesday Evg, goes this night; Jack3 here, full of hurries as usual,—in short except after midnight and till nine next morning, little absolute composure to be had. I shd except 2 daily hours of riding also; poor awkward Dromedary proving very loyal in her way, nay I do think rather friendly, and tearing along at a swift rough rate with me thro’ various old routes mutually known,—requiring no reward poor awkward quadruped except the liberty to drink (perhaps about a six gallons or so from the “Doctor's Trough,”4 one of the purest wells in Nature) when our ride is nearly done.— On the whole I am a good deal better; have not been so well as today for weeks past; tho’ I know there is still much bile abroad, and I will not brag.— My clothes are all successfully done, 30 hours ago (except a clutch I am anew making at “3 pairs of drawers”): on Sunday, as above said, I shall be over at Scotsbrig,—that to be my headquarters henceforth, tho’ I must come over hitherward once again: “about Wednesday or so” I think of setting out,—“about Wednesday,” if I go by Alderley, whh is still hanging loose, tho’ I rather wish to “subdue my scunnerings”: in fine, I design to be at home by the end of the next week; that is according to bargain, and will suit in all respects. Mary is right well pleased with her Picture: they one and all send (mutely) a thousand regards to you. One word to Scotsbrig now—and so may all be well! T. C.