January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 19 September 1831; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18310919-TC-JWC-01; CL 5:439-441.


London, Monday, 19th Septr [1831]

My Dearest Wife and Jeannie,

Labouring under the painful uncertainty whether this may find you or have to wait for you till we both come and seek it,—I must write without heart, and with all brevity. There is in truth nothing or next to nothing to be communicated: only for the sake of of [sic] lovingly saluting you and your way do I risk this line.

I had your Tuesday's Letter, from amid the rain torrents; since which I have learned by the Papers that you did not go on; for the Thunder became awfully grand especially in the Puttoch region, nay Mrs Broatch locked her door (on the Electric Fluid) and took out the key!1 All this has already transpired in the public Prints.— Or was it all the Tuesday before?

I will have a Letter for you at your Uncle's in Liverpool, on Saturday at latest. You will write (independently of it) what day and hour you are coming; and a certain man, among this million and half, will be on the outlook for you. Come, dearest Goodykin, come to my heart: I have been far too long parted from thee, and am all going to sixes and sevens without thee.

The best news I can tell you today is that Dreck is fairly getting into types. As you will see by that snip of a “specimen page,” which I inclose here, to gratify your pretty eyes. I know not what will become of the Book: indeed I have almost lost sight of it; let the Devil do his worst with it; I did my best.

I consigned the female Jeffreys yesterday to John; went over and saw the male one for about the third part of a minute. He was very kind-looking, poor little fellow, but seemed hampered and hurried. A pretty soul is there umgestrickt;2 and the yarns will choke the life out it: yet who, alas, can cut them asunder? Himself only had he the heart, and he has not.

The Longmans have sent me up Godwin's Book, and sent off for Hope's:3 it is not to be had here let me take what steps I like, hitherto. Perhaps the damage is not great. It is not as a Critic of what others speak but as a Speaker for myself that I must appear. Something is gathering within me: I will set it forth when it is ready, and we shall soon find a vehicle, Naso himself may find one. Meanwhile tho' several persons advise me to write Duds or Semi-duds, I will not.

On Saturday (being again at Murray's, seeking Hope's Book, in vain) I called in on the Blacks4 as I returned. Truly no bad people; obliging rather, necessitous and foolish. Black himself is a figure that makes me laugh every time I look back on him. He sits in a back room under a fine glass dome (very dirty and overhung by brick walls); has a flowered nightgown, fashionable head, and two jewel buttons for his shirt-breast: clatters and jargons with a wonderful mixture of the Goodnatured, the Dandiacal the Frothy and the Stupid; with becks and wreathed smiles5 and an environment as disorderly as that of Teufelsdreck himself. The pudding Young6 came in; looking lean, careworn, and apprehensive of the whole world: openly expressed their “sorrow” over Cochrane;7 lent me two Books, and promised to try for Hope's. Goethe's Lieferung [serial part] can be had, if you recollect the Volumes.—— Empson came rushing in yesternight, blethered [talked foolishly] for an instant (about coming back) then rushed out again lest his horse ran off, and—came not again.——

O my Dearest would I h[ad thee] safe and sound out of these perils by land and by water! I will not think of them, since I cannot lighten them, and have nothing for it but Patience and Hope. God keep thee, my own, and bring thee soon to my heart.

Ever thy affectionate, /

T. Carlyle—