A Celebration of Women Writers

"Vol. II (Section 1)."
From: New Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle (London and New York: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1893) ed. Alexander Carlyle.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom









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Copyright in America by John Lane, 1903

Wm. Clowes and Sons, Limited, Printers, London.

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1. THOMAS CARLYLE, ætat. 46.
(From a water-colour Sketch by Samuel Laurence, in the possession of the Editor)
To face page
(From an Engraving by Francis Holl. Drawn in Lithography by T. R. Way.) Described by Mrs. Carlyle as "the cleverest woman out of sight that I ever saw in my life," "very lovable," "very pleasant to live with," "full of energy and sincerity, and has, I am sure, an excellent heart"; and by Carlyle as "the facile princeps of all great Ladies," "that most Queen-like woman," etc
(From a Photo by Mr. R. Tait, 1854. Drawn in Lithography by T. R. Way)
4. Facsimiles of a page of Mrs. Carlyle's Journal, and of the inscription on the fly-leaf of Mrs. Carlyle's first copy of 'Sartor Resartus' (sheets from Fraser's Magazine bound) 106
(From Miniatures in the possession of the Editor)
(From a Portrait "done at one sitting," by Landseer. Drawn in Lithography by T. R. Way)
7. FRONT VIEW OF NO. 24 (formerly 5), CHEYNE ROW, CHELSEA.
(Drawn in Lithography by T. R. Way.) Home of Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle from June, 1834, to their deaths. In 1895 the House was purchased by friends and admirers of Carlyle; it contains a valuable collection of Books, Portraits, MSS. and other interesting relics of both Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle. Open to the public every week-day
(Drawn in Lithography by T. R. Way)

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To Dr. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Auchtertool Manse, Sunday, 5 Augt., 1849.

Thanks for your Letter, dear John, - come an hour ago, with one from Plattnauer, giving the news of Mr. C., which he has not time, it seems, to write himself. I send it at once, as your Mother will find any news better than none.

Certainly the Letter-department here is arranged on an entirely wrong basis. The delay is monstrous. I cannot write at any length to-day, for fear of stirring up my head into a promiscuousness! The late hours here don't suit me; - in fact, there is a good deal in life here that don't suit me; and which is the more trying because it is wrong, and because one "feels it his duty" to be in revolt against it. Breakfast at ten - dinner nearer seven than six - "dandering individuals" constantly dropping in - dressing and undressing, world without end! All that is so wholly out of place in a Scotch Manse. And the chitter-chatter!

If my Uncle could only speak intelligibly I should get good talk out of him; but since he lost his teeth his articulation [Page 2]  is so imperfect that it needs one to be used to it to catch one word out of ten.

By the way, I must not forget to tell you his criticism on your Dante. We had been talking about you the other night, and then we had sunk silent, and I had betaken myself to walking to and fro in the room. Suddenly my Uncle turned his head to me and said, shaking it gravely, "he has made an awesome pluister o' that place!" "Who? What place, Uncle?" "Whew! the place ye'll maybe gang to if ye dinna tak' care!" I really believe he considers all those Circles of your invention.

You are going to let Rosetta slip through your fingers; her Brother is going to take her home to Germany in two months. Or will you go and propose to her there, and take me with you?

Walter performed the marriage service over a couple of colliers the day after I came. I happened to be in the Study when they came in, and asked leave to remain. The man was a good-looking young man enough - dreadfully agitated, partly with the business he was come on, partly with drink. He had evidently taken a glass too much, to keep his heart up. The girl had one very large inflamed eye and one little one, which looked perfectly composed; while the large eye stared wildly and had a tear in it. Walter married them very well indeed; and his affecting words, together with the bridegroom's pale, excited face, and the bride's ugliness, and the "poverty, penury, needcessity and want" imprinted on the whole business, - and, above all, fellow-feeling with the poor wretches there rushing on their fate, - all that so overcame [Page 3]  me that I fell a-crying as desperately as if I had been getting married to the collier myself. And when the ceremony was over, I extended my hand to the unfortunates and actually (in such an enthusiasm of pity did I find myself!) presented the new Husband with a snuff-box(!) which I happened to have in my hand, being just about presenting it to Walter when the creatures came in. This unexpected Himmelsendung finished turning the man's head; he wrung my hand over and over again, leaving his mark for some hours after; and ended his grateful speeches with "Oh, Miss! - Oh, Leddy! - may ye hae mair comfort and pleesure in your life than ever you have had yet!" - which might easily be! Walter, infected by my generosity, presented the Bride with a new Bible. The coal-pit would ring next day with the "gootlock" which had "followed them to the Orient."[1]

But there, you see, is a long Letter; and my head is aching, and that is stupid. I must go and sit in the Garden. All the House is at Church.

Your affectionate

J. W. C.

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To Dr. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, Saturday, 'End of Oct., 1849.'

Cool! upon my honour! I write you a long, charming Letter, tell you everything I know and some things more, - and far from making me a "suitable return," you make me no return at all! ... I have taken a spree of Novel reading, too, - read Shirley last week, by the Authoress of Jane Eyre,[1] and one of Trollope's, - having been taken one day to Mrs. Procter's to see Trollope in her own house, and introduced to her as "a friend from the Country" (that at my own desire, for fear that she would return the call); and having found her a shrewd, honest woman to hear talk. But her Book is rubbishy in the extreme; and Shirley isn't much better. That spell of Novel reading, and a dinner at Knight the Publisher's, to patch up a feud with Harriet Martineau, is all in the shape of amusement that I have taken since my return, - and not much more amusing than darning stockings. ...

Darwin is come back, but I have not seen him yet. Miss Wynn is come back also, and her I have seen, once, in a clatter of Parrots and little cats and dogs, with which she solaces her loneliness, at the top of the house. Bölte is still in Germany imbibing "the new ideas." Anthony Sterling has got Harriet Martineau going to visit him for a couple of days next week - or rather going to visit his lackadaisical Governess. ... He has found a new outrake for his superfluous activity in a small Printing-press [Page 5]  he has set up at Headley. With the power of not only writing verses but printing them, one may live a little longer.

Please to write, tho' it be but with "somebody waiting to take the Letter to the Post-office." We want to hear of your Mother very often till she be quite recovered. And really, considering that I am your patient, - to urge no other claims, - you ought to keep an eye upon me, to be sure I don't poison myself with the prodigious assortment of pills I am continually swallowing. I write to-day at Mr. C.'s suggestion, who has only time to "add a postscript," the Painter Carrick having got hold of him again. - Love to them all.

Yours ever affectionately,

'J. W. C.'


To John Forster, Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Chelsea, 7 November, 1849.

Yes, dear Mr. Forster, on Wednesday, that is, tomorrow week, the "Great Fact" shall, Deo volente, get itself accomplished.

Meanwhile do not trouble to send me Shirley: I have just finished that not-masterly production. Now that this Authoress has left off "Corsing and schwearing" (as my German master used to call it), one finds her neither very lively nor very original. Still I should like very much to know her name. Can you give it me? as, if she have not kept company with me in this life, we must have been much together in some previous state of existence. [Page 6]  I perceive in her Book so many things I have said myself, printed without alteration of a word.

What a bore that we cannot get done with the Mannings.[1] I begin to fear you will not have the pleasure of seeing her turned off, after all.

Ever inexpressibly yours,



To Dr. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, '10 December, 1849.'

My dear John - I ought to tell you that I am about again; that is to say, when it does not rain; and that again is to say, at rare intervals. The weather is, in fact, detestable; but it will mend in time, - which can't be said of all the detestable things one knows.

The chief news I have to tell you is that I have got a little dog![2] and can hardly believe my senses! I should never have mustered courage to risk such a great step, had not Dilberoglue, the Greek I know in Manchester, having heard me talking about my wish for a dog, which was merely a "don't you wish you may get it?" actually on his return to Manchester, set about seeking one, and fired it off at me by Railway. And so well has he sought and found; that here is a little dog perfectly beautiful and queer-looking, which does not bark at all! nor whine more than if it were deaf and dumb!! It sleeps at the foot of my bed without ever stirring or audibly breathing [Page 7]  all night long; and never dreams of getting up till I get up myself. It follows me like my shadow, and lies in my lap; and at meals, when animals are apt to be so troublesome, it makes no sort of demonstration beyond standing on its hind legs! Not only has Mr. C. no temptation to "kick his foot thro' it," but seems getting quite fond of it and looks flattered when it musters the hardihood to leap on his knee. So, there is one small comfort achieved; for it is really a comfort to have something alive and cheery and fond of me, always there.

My fear now is not that Mr. C. will put it away, but that I shall become the envy of surrounding dog-stealers! Anthony Sterling says, "it is much too valuable a dog not to get itself stolen fast enough." Well! I can but get a chain to fasten it to my arm, and keep a sharp look out.

My cold is away again; but, oh, dear! my "interior" is always very miserable; and nothing that I do or forbear seems to make the least difference. The worst is the dreadful pressure on my faculties. There are kinds of illnesses that one can work under, but this sort of thing that I go on with makes everything next to impossible for me.

Mr. Neuberg is always lamenting your absence. He comes occasionally and plays chess with me, and I generally beat him. What is it that makes that man so heavy? He is clever and well-informed, and well-bred, and kind, and has even some humour; and yet, when he goes away every time I yawn and yawn and feel so dished!

No thoughts of coming back yet? I miss you very [Page 8]  bad. Mr. C. bids me tell you to cut out his "Trees of Liberty"[1] from the Nation and send it back.

Ever yours lovingly,


Kindest regards to your Mother and Isabella and Jamie. - I don't think you will get so well on with your Translation there as here.


To Dr. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, 'December, 1849.'

My dear John - I feel as if it behoved me to write to you this morning to congratulate you on a narrow escape. I dreamt over night that you were on the point of being married - to a Miss Crawford from about Darlington! No dream could be more particular; I was not "entangled in the details" the least in the world. We felt much hurt here, that you had kept the thing from our knowledge till the eleventh hour, tho' you gave for reason that you were "afraid of its going back," and then our laughing at you. It had been settled for months however; and now it came out that your long stay at Scotsbrig had been for the object of laying in a great stock of Wedding-clothes! shirts sewed by your Sister Jenny, and coats and trousers world without end, by Tom Garthwait. The whole thing seemed to me questionable, and [Page 9]  I was glad to awake. Considering that I did not fall asleep till four in the morning and then (after a dose of morphia) only slept by snatches, ten minutes or so at a time, I might, I think, have been spared the bother of your marriage!

Geraldine's Tale is now going on in the Manchester Examiner. I sent the first three parts to Auchtertool three days ago, desiring them to forward it to you. And do you, when done with it, send it back to myself, as I wish to lend it to Miss Wynn, etc. - It is good, so far - no "George Sandism" in it at all. Indeed Geraldine is in the fair way to become one of the most moral "Women of England." Seriously, she has made an immense progress in common-sense and common decency within the last year; and I begin to feel almost (as Mazzini would say) "enthusiast of her!" Her last Letter contains some details I had asked for respecting Espinasse, who had told me in three lines that he was about to retire into very private life, till some sort of amalgamation were effected betwixt the French and the Scotch blood in him, which "insisted in flowing in entirely opposite currents." I will send that part of the Letter - a wonderful style of proceeding in the nineteenth century! ...

I had a Letter the other day addressed, "Mrs. T. Carlyle, Esq.," from one of Helen Mitchell's Dublin Brothers, - the poor one. He wrote to ask the fact of her leaving here. Since she left Dublin, she had written to none of them till now; and now he said she wrote in "great distress of body and mind." - She was living at [Page 10]  Bow; had not been in service apparently since she left the place I got her. What she is doing the Devil I suppose knows. If there were the least chance of saving her, I would seek her out; but there is none. Even the Letter to her Brother, under the present circumstances, has been one mass of lies.

Elizabeth does not go. It would have been the extreme of folly to keep her to her vow, when she evidently wished to remain; and I knew of no better person. So, one day, I asked her if she wished to leave at the end of her month, or the end of her quarter? And she answered most insinuatingly that she did not wish to leave at all, if I were satisfied with her. So I gave her a good lecture on her caprices and sullen temper; and all has gone on since better than ever. Not a frown has darkened her brow these three weeks.

As for Nero, his temper is at all times that of an angel. But yesterday, O heavens! I made my first experience of the strange, suddenly-struck-solitary, altogether-ruined feeling of having lost one's dog! and also of the phrensied feeling of recognising him, from a distance, in the arms of a dog-stealer! But mercifully it was near home that he was twitched up. I missed him just opposite the Cooper's, and the lads, who are all in my pay for odd jobs, rushed out to look for him, and stopt the man who had him till I came up and put my thumb firmly under his collar, - not the man's but the dog's. He said he had found the dog who was losing himself, and was bringing him after me!! and I would surely "give him a trifle for his trouble!" And I was cowardly enough to give him [Page 11]  twopence to rid Nero and myself of his dangerous proximity.

I continue free of cold, and able to go out of doors; but that I may be reminded "I am but a woman," I have never a day free from the sickness, nor a night of real sleep. This way of it however is much less troublesome to other people, than colds confining me to my room.

Yours ever affectionately,



To T. Carlyle, Chelsea.

Addiscombe, Sunday, 7 April, 1850.

All well, Dear (superficially speaking). Lady A. was out when we arrived, had been out the whole day; is "quite well" again, looking beautiful and in tearing spirits. Lord A. was here, - nobody else yesterday. He was put on reading Mill's Armand Carrel aloud after tea, and it sent us all off to bed in the midst.

This morning the first thing I heard when I rose was Miss Farrar "rising into the region of song" outside; and looking out thro' the window I saw her, without her bonnet, in active flirtation with Bingham Mildmay, who had just come.

They are all gone out (Lady A. on her pony) to the Archbishop's grounds. I went a little way with them, but dropt off at the first bench on the hill. I am not worse for coming, - rather better indeed. I daresay the ride yesterday and the, what Helen used to call, "grand [Page 12]  change" was just the best a Doctor could have prescribed for me. - There is a talk of going to Mortlake one day to visit the Taylors - "Barkis is willing."

But if you come to-morrow, as I expect, what am I writing for? I wish you were at the Archbishop's now instead of wrestling with that Pamphlet; and yet, it is not in sauntering about grounds that good work gets done by any one, I fancy. It is a lovely day however, and I grudge your not having the full benefit of it as well as I.

A kiss to my dear wee dog, and what he will perhaps like still better, a lump of sugar!

Yours faithfully,



To Mrs. Russell, Thornhill.

Chelsea, Wednesday, 'Spring, 1850.'

Dearest Mrs. Russell - I am sure old Mary's money must be done now! When you told me what remained of it, I calculated how long it would hold out, and then - forgot all about it! as I do about everything connected with arithmetical computations. You will hardly believe it of me, but it is a positive truth, between ourselves, that I never could say the Multiplication Table in my life, - at least never for a whole day together.[1] I learnt it every morning for a while, and forgot it every night.


[Page 13]  Nay, I cannot for the life of me recollect the numbers of my friends' houses! I find them only by the eye. One day I went to dine at a house which my eye had not got familiar with; and found, when I had arrived in the quarter, that I had not only forgotten the number of the house but the name of the street! I spent a whole hour in seeking it, and only found it out at last thro' interposition of providence in the shape of a Scotch footman who had made himself acquainted with the names of his neighbours, - a good Scotch fashion entirely abstained from here. You may fancy the vinegar looks of the Lady of the House and the visitors whom I had kept from their dinner one mortal hour! I made a most unsuccessful visit of it, and of course these people never asked me again.

We have the strangest weather here that ever was seen; and even I, who suffer so severely from frost, begin to feel sick of this unnatural mildness. For the last two or three weeks I have felt as languid as "a serpent trying to stand on its tail" (to use the figure of an Irish friend[1] in speaking of his sufferings from the heat of Munich). If I were within reach of Dr. Russell I would give my volition entirely up to him, to be done what he liked to for six weeks, - the longest trial I ever bring myself to make of a Doctor's prescriptions. But I have no faith in the medical people here: not one of them seems honest to begin with. To get patients and to humour them when got, seems much more the object of these people than to cure their ailments. In fact what can they know [Page 14]  about one's ailments, allowing only some three minutes to the most complicated cases! And so I leave my case to Nature; and Nature seems to want either the will or the power to remedy it.

This is a bright day however, - not sloppy as so many preceding ones, - and I must go out for a long walk, and get rid, if not of my biliousness, at least of my blue devils. And so God bless you. Kind regards to your Father and Husband.

Ever yours affectionately,



To John Forster, Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Chelsea, 19 April, 1850.

My dear Forster - ... "With my soul on the pen," as Mazzini says, I declare that if we ever look to not care for you, it is a pure deceptio visus. My Husband may be little - too little - demonstrative in a general way; but at all rates he is very steadfast in his friendships; and as for me, I am a little model of constancy and all the virtues! including the rare gift of knowing the value of my blessings before I have lost them: ergo, if you be still driving out for exercise, please remember your promise to come again. I am sure I must have accumulated an immense number of amusing things during the Winter, that it would do your heart good to hear.[1]

Meanwhile all good be with you; and pray do not [Page 15]  fail to observe how much my handwriting is improved in point of legibility. I have not been to a writing-school, nor yet gone thro' a regular course of Copy-lines at home. The improvement has been worked in a manner much more suitable to my impatient temper: by the short and simple means of investing one sovereign of my private capital in a gold pen with a platinum point. Upon my honour the thing writes of itself! and spells too, better or worse. And then the maker assures me that it will "last forever." Just think what a comfort: I shall henceforth write legibly forever! You are the first individual privileged with a sight of its results. I have in fact hanselled it in writing to you, - we shall see with what luck.

Ever affectionately yours,



To Dr. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, '13 May, 1850.'

My dear John - It was full time you should write! I had just settled it in my own mind that you were falling ill, and could not write; and had romantic little ideas about setting off to help to nurse you! It is "all right," however, and the rightest part of it is that you are coming back. I assure you your absence made a great blank in my existence, such as it is, and I have never even tried to fill it up, - expecting from month to month that you would return to occupy my vacant "first floor" (morally understood). It is amazing how much good one fancies one [Page 16]  might get of an absent friend compared with the good one takes of him when he is there! so many things one says to him mentally at a distance which face to face one would never utter a word of!

I hope you will find Nero all you could wish in a dog connected with the Family. I shall take care that he be well-washed to receive you, and not over-full, when he is apt to be, I will not say less affectionate, but less demonstrative than one likes - in a dog. Mr. C. said he wrote that the up-stairs room was, or would be, in great beauty. I have indeed been doing a little Martha-tidying there, - the results of which promise to be "rather exquisite." God defend me from ever coming to a fortune (a prayer more likely to be answered than most of my prayers!); for then the only occupation that affords me the slightest self-satisfaction would be gone! and there would remain for me only (as Mr. C. said of the Swiss Giantess who drowned herself) "to summon up all the virtue left in me, to rid the world of such a beggarly existence."

Speaking of suicide, a woman came to me the other morning from Helen - a decent enough looking person, respectably dressed, and the only suspicious-looking feature in whose appearance was the character she gave herself for sobriety, charity, piety and all the virtues. Her business was to ask me to give the said Helen a character that she might seek another place, otherwise she (Helen) "spoke of attempting her life." "She has been long speaking of that," I said. "Yes, and you are aware, Ma'am, of her having walked into the Thames after she left the last place you found her? Oh, yes, she got three [Page 17]  months of Horsemonger Lane jail for the attempt; and if a waterman had not been looking on and taken the first opportunity of saving her, she would have probably been drowned." I said it was well if she had not been in jail for anything worse. Ever since coming out she has lodged with this woman, - her Brothers in Dublin sending her money, - "but very little," - from time to time. But they seem tiring of that, and so Helen thinks she will try service again. I recommended that she should, as a more feasible speculation, go into the Chelsea Workhouse, where they would take care to keep drink from her, and force her to work. As for recommending her to a decent service, I scouted the notion. And the woman herself said she "seemed to have no faculties left," and was always wanting "sixpence-worth of opium to put an end to herself." The object of the woman coming was more likely to get some money out of me. ... But the sun is shining brightly outside, and inside my stomach is very dismal; so I must go out and walk. You will write when you have fixed your time. Love to all.

Your affectionate



To T. Carlyle, Boverton, Cowbridge.

Chelsea, 20 August, 1850.

Only a little Note to-day, Dear,

"That you may know I am in being,
'Tis intended for a sign."[1]
[Page 18]  And a sign, too, that I am grateful for your long Letters, - my only comfort thro' this black business,[1] which has indeed "flurried me all to pieces." To-day's did not come by the morning post; not till twelve, when I had fallen so low for want of it that I might have had no news for a week! It is sad and wrong to be so dependent for the life of my life on any human being as I am on you; but I cannot by any force of logic cure myself of the habit at this date, when it has become a second nature. If I have to lead another life in any of the planets, I shall take precious good care not to hang myself round any man's neck, either as a locket or a millstone!

... I am now going to lie on the sofa and have Geraldine read a Novel to me all the rest of this day, - writing makes me "too fluttery for anything." I had a misgiving that the corner of the Leader got ruffled Sunday gone a week, in pushing it into that narrow slit in Church Street [Letter-box]. I tied the last with a string.

Give my kind regards to poor dear Redwood, whose feelings I can well understand.

Ever your affectionate



To T. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, Friday night, '6 Sep., 1850.'

Here is a Letter from Lady Ashburton, the first I have had during your absence; neither had I written to her (till I answered this to-day by return of post), partly because [Page 19]  she had said at our last meeting that she would write to me first, and partly because in the puddle I have been in I felt little up to addressing Serene Higher Powers, before whom one is bound to present oneself in "Sunday clothes," whereas I have been all this while like a little sweep on a Saturday night! But the Letter you forwarded to me had prepared me for an invitation to the Grange about the end of this month, and I was hoping that before it came, you might have told me something of your purposes, - whether you meant to go there after Scotland; whether you meant to go to them in Paris; - that you might have given me, in short, some skeleton of a program by which I might frame my answer. In my uncertainty as to all that, I have written a stupid neither Yes-nor-no sort of a Letter, "leaving the thing open" (as your phrase is). But I said decidedly enough that I could not be ready to go so soon as the 23rd.

What chiefly bothers me is the understanding that I "promised" to go alone. The last day I saw Lady A. she told me that she could not get you to say whether you were coming to them in September or not; that you "talked so darkly and mysteriously on the subject, that she did not know what to make of it"; that you referred her, as usual, to me; and then she said, "I want you both to come, Mrs. Carlyle: will you come?" I said, "Oh, if he goes I should be very glad." "But if he never comes back, as he seems to meditate, couldn't you come by yourself?" I answered to that, laughing as well as I could, "Oh, he will be back by then, and I daresay we shall go together; and should he leave me too long, I must learn to go about [Page 20]  on my own basis." I don't think that was a promise to go to the Grange alone on "the 23rd of this month." Do you think it was? Most likely you will decline giving an opinion.[1] Well in this, as in every uncertainty, one has always one's "do the duty nearest hand," etc., to fall back upon; and my duty nearest hand is plainly to get done with "my house-cleaning" before all else. Once more "all straight" here, I shall see what time remains before the journey to Paris; and which looks easiest to do, whether to go for a week at the cost of some unsettling, or to stay away at the risk of seeming ungrateful for such kindness.

To descend like a parachute; who think you waited on me the night before last? Elizabeth!

I shall send Alton Locke so soon as I have waded to the end of it. There is also come for you thro' Chapman, addressed in the handwriting of Emerson, a Pamphlet entitled "Perforations in the Latter-Day Pamphlets," by "One of the Eighteen Millions of Bores," edited by Elizur Wright. - No. 1. Shall I send it? I vote for putting it quietly in the fire here; - it is ill-natured, of course, and dully so. But I must go and tidy myself a bit, to receive [Page 21]  the farewell visit of Fanny Lewald, who has written with much trust that she would "take some dinner with me today at two o'clock." I have not seen her since her return to London. Kind regards at discretion.

Ever yours affectionately,



To T. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, Sunday night, 8 Sep., 1850.

That toe, Dear! it may be a trifling enough matter in itself; but anything that prevents you from walking must be felt by you as a serious nuisance. I don't believe the least in the world that it has been "pricked"; if it had, you would have felt the prick at the time. I think it must be a little case of rheumatism in one particular sinew, and I would have you keep it warm with cotton, and rub it a great deal, and all up the foot, with a bit of hot flannel and some laudanum on it. That is my advice; and recollect that at Craigenputtock I was considered a skilful Doctor, - to the extent even of being summoned out of bed in the middle of the night to prescribe for John Carr, when "scraiching as if he were at the point o' daith!" And didn't I cure him on the spot, not with "eye-water" labelled "poison," but with a touch of paregoric? Meanwhile it is pleasant to know you have a gig to move about in, and that if anything go wrong with it, Jamie will "pey him wi' five shillin'"!

To-morrow I shall lay out two sixpences in forwarding Alton Locke (The Devil among the Tailors would have been [Page 22]  the best name for it). It will surely be gratifying to you, the sight of your own name in almost every second page! But for that, I am ashamed to say I should have broken down in it a great way this side of the end! It seems to me, in spite of Geraldine's hallelujahs, a mere - not very well-boiled - broth of Morning-chronicle-ism, in which you play the part of the tasting-bone of Poverty Row. An oppressive, painful Book! I don't mean painful from the miseries it delineates, but from the impression it gives one that "young Kingsley," and many like him, are "running to the Crystal" as hard as they can; and that "the end of all that agitation will be the tailors and needle-women eating up all Maurice's means" (figuratively speaking). And then, all the indignation against existing things strikes somehow so numbly! like your Father whipping the bad children under the bedclothes![1] But the old Scotchman [Saunders Mackaye] is capital, - only that there never was nor ever will be such an old Scotchman. I wonder what will come of Kingsley - go mad, perhaps.

To-day, Sunday, has been without incident of any sort; not a single knock or ring. Emma[2] was at Church in the morning, I reading the Leader and writing Letters - to my Aunt Elizabeth, Geraldine, Plattnauer; - and for the rest, nursing a sort of Influenza I have taken. You ask about [Page 23]  my sleep. It is not good, - very broken and unrefreshing; but I get over the nights with less lying awake than in the time of the Elizabethan rows. My health does not improve with the quiet, one would say wholesome, life I am leading; but it is beyond the power of outward circumstances, I fancy, to improve it at this date. And it is a great mercy that I keep on foot. I might easily have less inward suffering and lie far more heavy on myself and those who have to do with me.

... But, "Oh, dear me!" (one may say that, now that you have got such a trick[1] of it yourself) I ought to be in bed, with plenty of flannel about my head! So good-night!

Ever your affectionate



To T. Carlyle, Chelsea.

The Grange, Tuesday, '8 Oct., 1850.'

What a clever Dear! to know merino from the other thing, and to choose the right gown in spite of Emma. [Page 24]  Don't trust to finding your horse-rug here. I left it in my bedroom, where it must still be, lying on the trunk behind the door most likely.

I have a vague notion that I am not somehow to get to the railway station to meet you. ... The Taylors are to be dispatched to-morrow, as well as you sent for, and I fancy my going is inconvenient to the servants, who would rather wait at the station than return. Henry Taylor and Thackeray have fraternized finally, not "like the carriage horses and the railway steam-engine," as might have been supposed, but like men and brothers! I lie by, and observe them with a certain interest; it is as good as a Play. ... Rawlinson is here, - a humbug to my mind. I don't believe the half of what he says, and have doubts of the other half. - Adieu till tomorrow.

Ever your      J. C.


To Mrs. Russell, Thornhill.

Chelsea, Monday, 'Nov., 1850.'

My dear Mrs. Russell - Thanks for your pleasant Letter. I enclose a cheque (is that the way to spell it?) for the money. Please to send a line or old Newspaper that I may know it has arrived.

I returned some days ago, rather improved by my month in the country[1]. ... But the first thing I did was to give myself a wrench and a crush, all in one on the ribs under my right breast, which has bothered [Page 25]  me ever since; and I am afraid is a more serious injury than I at first thought. Two days of mustard plasters have done little yet towards removing the pain, which I neglected for the first three days.

I found the mud of our London streets abominable after the clean gravelly roads in Hampshire; - it is such a fatigue carrying up one's heavy Winter petticoats. For the rest, home is always pleasantest to me after a long sojourn in a grand House; and solitude, never so welcome as after a spell of brilliant people. One brilliant person at a time and a little of him is a charming thing; but a whole houseful of brilliant people, shining all day and every day, makes one almost of George Sand's opinion, that good honest stupidity is the best thing to associate with.

I send you a little Photograph of my Mother's Miniature, which I have had done on purpose for you. It is not quite the sort of thing one would wish to have, but at least it is as like as the Miniature.

I will not wait till next year to write again, - if I live.

Kind regards to your Father and Husband.

Yours affectionately,



To John Forster, Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Chelsea, 'December, 1850.'

Dear Mr. Forster - Behold a turkey which requests [Page 26]  that you will do it the honour and pleasure of eating it at your convenience. The bearer is paid for taking it; so pray do not corrupt his "soul of honour" by paying him a second time.

We were the better for that evening; but we have been to a dinner since that has floored one of us (not me) completely. A dinner "to meet Mary Barton"(?). And such a flight of "distinguished females" descended on us when we returned to the drawing-room - ach Gott! Miss Muloch, Madame Pulszky, Fanny Martin (the Lecture-devourer), Mrs. Grey (Self Culture), - and distinguished Males ad infinitum, amongst whom we noticed Le Chevalier Pulszky, Chadwick, Dr. Gully, Merivale.

Mr. Carlyle has all but died of it! I have suffered much less; - but then I did not eat three crystallized green things, during the dessert.

Nero sends his kind regards.

Ever affectionately yours,




To Mrs. Russell.

Chelsea, 12 July, 1851.

My dear Mrs. Russell - It is come on me by surprise this morning that the 13th is no post-day here, and so, if I do not look to it to-day Margaret and Mary will be thinking I have forgotten them on my birthday, or that I have forgotten my own birthday, which would indicate [Page 27]  me fallen into a state of dotage! - far from the case I can promise you! For I never went to so many fine parties, and bothered so much about dresses, etc., and seemed so much like just coming out! as this Summer! Not that I have, like the eagle, renewed my age (does the eagle renew its age?), or got any influx of health and gaiety of heart; but the longer one lives in London one gets, of course, to know more people, and to be more invited about; and Mr. C. having no longer such a dislike to great parties as he once had, I fall naturally into the current of London life - and a very fast one it is!

Besides I have just had my Cousin Helen staying with me for three weeks, and have had a good deal of racketing to go thro' on her account, - her last and only visit to me still lying on my conscience as a dead failure; for instead of seeing sights and enjoying herself, she had to fulfill the double function of sick-nurse to me, and maid-of-all-work! ...

I don't know yet where we are to go this Autumn. Mr. C. has so many plans; and until he decides where he is going and for how long, I can make no arrangement for myself. I shall be quite comfortable in leaving my house this year, however, having got at last a thoroughly trustworthy sensible servant.

My kind regards to your Father and Husband. Some one told me your Father was coming to London; he must be sure not to pass us over, if he comes.

I can think of nothing of any use to Mary, sendable from here; I enclose five shillings that you may buy her what she most needs, - a pair of shoes? a bonnet? [Page 28]  or some meat? Give her my kind regards, poor old soul. And believe me, dear Mrs. Russell, your ever affectionate


I am going to a morning concert and am in great haste.


To T. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Manchester, 12 September, 1851.

... I am very sorry to hear of your rushing down into coffee and castor so soon, - and any amount of smoking I dare say! For me, I can tell you with a little proud Pharisee feeling, that I have not - what shall I say? - swallowed a pill since I left Malvern!!![1] and I am alive, and rather well. But then, my life otherwise is so very wholesome: nice little railway excursions every day; nice country dinners at two o'clock, - everybody so fond of me! ... It is great fun too visiting these primeval Cotton-spinners with "parlour-kitchens," and bare-headed servant-maids, so overflowing with fervent hospitality, and in the profoundest darkness about my Husband's "Literary reputation." - I have a great deal to tell about these people; but it is needless to waste time in writing that sort of thing.

But one thing of another sort, belonging to our natural sphere, I must tell you so long as I remember; that Espinasse has - renounced his allegiance to you! When his Father was in London lately he (his Father, anything [Page 29]  but an admirer of yours) was greatly charmed to hear his Son declare that he had "quite changed his views about Carlyle; and was no longer blind to his great and many faults." Whereon the Espinasse Father, in a transport of gratitude to Heaven for a saved "insipid offspring," pulled out - a five-pound note! and made Espinasse a present of it. Espinasse, thanking his Father, then went on to say that, "he no longer liked Mrs. Carlyle either; that he believed her an excellent woman once, but she had grown more and more into Carlyle's likeness, until there was no enduring her!" The Father however did not again open his purse! Stores Smith, who was present, is the authority for this charming little history, which had amused Espinasse's enemies here very much.

Mrs. Gaskell took Geraldine and me a beautiful drive the other day in a "friend's carriage." She is a very kind cheery woman in her own house; hut there is an atmosphere of moral dulness about her, as about all Socinian women. - I am thinking whether it would not be expedient, however, to ask her to give you a bed when you come. She would be "proud and happy" I guess; and you do not wish to sleep at Geraldine's, - besides that, mine is the only spare room furnished. The Gaskell house is very large and in the midst of a shrubbery and quite near this.

Kind love to your Mother and the rest. ...

Nero is the happiest of dogs; goes all the journeys by railway, smuggled with the utmost ease; and has run many hundreds of miles after the little Lancashire birds. - Oh my! your old gloves have come home with their tails [Page 30]  behind them! I found something bulky in my great-coat pocket the other night, and when I put it on I pulled out the gloves. You must have placed them there yourself; for there was also a mass of paper rolled up for tobacco-pipe purposes.

Ever yours,



To Miss Welsh, Auchtertool Manse, Kirkcaldy.

Chelsea, Wednesday, 24 Sep., 1851.

Upon my honour, Dearest Helen, you grow decidedly good. Another nice long Letter! and the former still unanswered! This is a sort of heaping of coals of fire on my head which I should like to have continued.

But I must tell you my news. Well, I lived very happily at Geraldine's for the first week, in spite of the horrid dingy atmosphere and substitution of cinder roads for the green Malvern Hills. We made a great many excursions by railway into the cotton valleys. Frank [Jewsbury] selected some cotton spinner in some picturesque locality, and wrote or said that he would dine with him on such a day at two o'clock, and bring his Sister and a lady staying with them. The cotton spinner was most willing! And so we started after breakfast and spent the day in beautiful places amongst strange old-world, highly hospitable life, - eating, I really think, more home-baked bread and other dainties than was good for us; the air and exercise made us so ravenously hungry. It was returning [Page 31]  from the last of these country visits, rather late thro' a dense fog, that I caught my cold; and then came the old sleepless nights and headaches and all the abominable etceteras. I was still stuffed full of cold when I had to start for Alderley Park,[1] and the days I spent there were in consequence supremely wretched, tho' the place is lovely and there was a fine rattling houseful of people; and the Stanleys, even to Lord Stanley, who is far from popular, as kind as possible, - alas, too kind! for Lady Stanley would show me all the "beautiful views," and that sort of thing, out of doors; and Blanche would spend half the night in my bedroom! Lord Airlie was there and his Sister and various other assistants at the marriage. I saw a trousseau for the first time in my life; about as wonderful a piece of nonsense as the Exhibition of all Nations. Good Heavens! how is any one woman to use up all those gowns and cloaks and fine clothes of every denomination? And the profusion of coronets! every stocking, every pockethandkerchief, every thing had a coronet on it! ... Poor Blanche doesn't seem to know, amidst the excitement and rapture of the trousseau, whether she loves the man or not; - she hopes well enough at least for practical purposes. I liked him very much for my share; and wish little Alice had the fellow of him.

But, Oh! how thankful I was to get away, where I might lie in bed, "well let alone," and do out my illness! We found Ann very neat and glad to see us. She is a thoroughly good, respectable woman - the best character I ever had in the house. ... [Page 32] 

Kindest love to my dear Uncle and the rest. I have heard nothing of the Sketchleys since the week after you left.

Ever your affectionate

J. W. C.

A. S. [Sterling] has swapt his Yacht for another which he has christened the Mazzini. Mr. C. starts for Paris tomorrow, for a ten days or a fortnight, I suppose.


To Dr. Carlyle, Scotsbrig

Chelsea, Saturday, 'Nov., 1851.'

My dear John - Thanks for your kind attention in sparing me as much as possible all alarm and anxiety. Your two welcome Notes were followed by one from Helen last night, representing my Uncle as in the most prosperous state after his long journey. It was not, however, the immediate consequences that I felt most apprehensive of; and I shall not be quite at ease about him till a few days are well over. Every time I myself have gone a long way by express, the frightful headache produced in me comes on gradually after, and does not reach its ultimatum till some three or four days. They all seem very grateful to you for your kind attention to my Uncle; and so am I; and it is a real pleasure to me to hear them speak of you so warmly.

For the rest, if the Devil had not broken loose on me this morning, it was my intention to have written you a long Letter, - in spite of your preference for short ones. [Page 33]  But there are so many things requiring to be done that I must not dawdle over any of them. Mrs. Piper wants me at her house at midday, to inspect the arrangements she has made for the reception of Mazzini, Saffi and Quadri,[1] to whom I have let the three bedrooms and one sitting-room, left empty in the Piper house by the departure of an old lady and Daughter who lived with them (the Mother and Sister, in fact, of L. E. L.[2]); and the Piper economics were in danger of rushing down into "cleanness of teeth," in consequence. So, as Mazzini applied to me for apartments, I brought the two wants to bear on each other, to the great contentment of both parties. I have also lent the Pipers a bedstead, a washstand, and two extremely bad chairs; and must now go and put a few finishing touches from the hand of Genius to her arrangements; and, above all, order in coals and candles, or the poor men will have a wretched home to come to this cold night.

I have got Saffi Italian lessons, - at the Sterlings and Wedgwoods. So now, to use Mazzini's expression, "he is saved." Carlyle is extremely fond of Saffi: I have not seen him take so much to any one this long while.

Besides that piece of business, there are three answers to sorts of business Letters that must be written: one requiring my active exertions in the placing of a - Lady's-maid! (Good Gracious, what things people do ask of one!); one from Lady Ashburton, who has not taken the slightest notice of me, but "quite the contrary," ever since I refused her invitation to the Grange on her [Page 34]  return from Paris! This Letter also, is an invitation, - to come on the 1st of December and stay over Christmas, put on the touching footing of requiring my assistance to help "in amusing Mama" [Lady Sandwich]. Heaven knows what is to be said from me individually. If I refuse this time also, she will quarrel with me outright, - that is her way; - and as quarrelling with her would involve quarrelling with Mr. C. also, it is not a thing to be done lightly. - I wish I knew what to answer for the best.[1] [Page 35] 

I have also to write to Mrs. Macready this day for a copy of the Sterling which I lent her to take with her to Sherborne; it is Mr. C.'s own copy and has pencil corrections on it, and is now wanted for the new Edition which Chapman is here at this moment negotiating for. None of Mr. C.'s Books have sold with such rapidity as this one. If he would write a Novel we should become as rich as - Dickens! "And what should we do then?" "Dee and do nocht ava!" I don't think it would be any gain to be rich. I should then have to keep more servants, - and one is bad enough to manage. Ann, however, goes on very peaceably, except that in these foggy, dispiriting mornings she is often dreadfully low about her wrist. I have given her a pair of woollen wristikins. Can I do anything more? Young Ann I have got to be housemaid with Lady Lytton, who has taken a cottage all to herself. ...

Love to your Mother and the rest of you.


J. W. C.


To Mrs. Russell, Thornhill.

Chelsea, Tuesday, '6 Jan'y, 1852'.

My dear Mrs. Russell - Here I am at home again[1] - to the unspeakable joy of - my dog, if no one else's. I assure you the reception he gave us left the heart nothing to wish. [Page 36]  I found a clean house, with nothing spoilt or broken. My present servant, who has lasted since last May, is a punctual trustworthy woman; very like our Haddington Betty in appearance. I hope she will stay - forever, - if that were possible. ...

I hope you will now write me a long Letter about dear old Thornhill, and all the people I know there. I send the Order for the money, which I need not doubt but you advanced for me. I hoped by this time to have had a Book to send you, Mr. C.'s Life of Sterling, of which a second edition is now printing; but it is not ready yet, so you must wait a little longer.

Only imagine my three Aunts coming up to the Exhibition last August! I should have thought it much too worldly a subject of interest for them. I had gone to Malvern only two days before they arrived, - so missed them altogether.

Love to your Husband and Father.

Ever affectionately yours,



To Dr. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, '27 July, 1852.'

My dear John - You will like to hear "what I am thinking of Life" in the present confusion. Well, then, I am not thinking of it at all but living it very contentedly. The tumult has been even greater since Mr. C.[1] went than it [Page 37]  was before; for new floors are being put down in the top story, and the noise of that is something terrific. But now that I feel the noise and dirt and disorder with my own senses, and not through his as well, it is amazing how little I care about it. Nay, in superintending all these men I begin to find myself "in the career open to my particular talents," and am infinitely more satisfied than I was in talking "wits," in my white silk gown with white feathers in my head, and soirées at Bath House, "and all that sort of thing." It is a consolation to be of some use, tho' it were only in helping stupid carpenters and bricklayers out of their "impossibilities," and, at all rates, keeping them to their work; especially when the ornamental no longer succeeds with me so well as it has done! The fact is, I am remarkably indifferent to material annoyances, considering my morbid sensibility to moral ones. And when Mr. C. is not here recognising it with his overwhelming eloquence, I can regard the present earthquake as something almost laughable.

Another house-wife trial of temper has come upon me since Mr. C. went, of which he yet knows nothing, and which has been borne with the same imperturbability: He told you, perhaps, that I had got a new servant in the midst of this mess, - a great beauty, whom I engaged because she had been six years in her last place, and because he decidedly liked her physiognomy. She came home the night before he left. It was a rough establishment to come into, and no fair field for shewing at once her capabilities; but her dispositions were perhaps on that account [Page 38]  the more quickly ascertained. The first night I came upon her listening at the door; and the second morning I came upon her reading one of my Letters! And in every little box, drawer and corner I found traces of her prying. It was going to be like living under an Austrian Spy. Then, because she had no regular work possible to do, she did nothing of her own accord that was required. Little Martha, who was here in Ann's illness and whom I had taken back for a week or two, was worth a dozen of her in serviceableness. The little cooking I needed, was always "what she hadn't been used to where she lived before," and for that, or some other reason, detestable. I saw before the first week was out, that I had got a helpless, illtrained, low-minded goose; and this morning, the last day of the week, I was wishing to Heaven I had brought no regular servant into the house at all just now, but gone on with little Martha, As there was not work enough for half a one, never to speak of two, I had told little Martha she must go home to-night. I would rather have sent away the other, but she had waited three weeks for the place, and couldn't be dispatched without a week's warning; and besides, I felt hardly justified in giving her no longer trial. Figure my satisfaction, then, when on my return from taking Mazzini to call for the Brownings, the new servant came to me, with a set face, and said, "she had now been here a week and found the place didn't suit her; if it had been all straight, perhaps she could have lived in it; but it was such a muddle, and would be such a muddle for months to come, that she thought it best to get [Page 39]  out of it." I told her I was quite of her opinion, and received the news with such amiability that she became quite amiable, too, and asked "when would I like her to go." "To-night," I said; "Martha was to have gone to-night, now you will go in her stead, and that will be all the difference!" And she is gone, bag and baggage! We parted with mutual civilities, and I never was more thankful for a small mercy in my life. And the most amusing part of the business is, that although taken thus by surprise I had before she left the house, - engaged another servant! By the strangest chance, Irish Fanny, who has always kept on coming to see me from time to time, and is now in better health, arrived at tea-time to tell me she had left her place. I offered her mine, which she had already made trial of, and she accepted with an enthusiasm which did one's heart good after all those cold, ungrateful English wretches. I stipulated, however, that she should not come for a month, little Martha being the suitablest in the present state of the family. Little Martha is gone to bed the happiest child in Chelsea, at the honour done her. "I could have told you, Ma'am," she said, "the very first day that girl was here, that she wasn't fit for a genteel place; and I'm sure she isn't so much older than me as she says she is!"

Oh, such a fuss the Brownings made over Mazzini this day! My private opinion of Browning is, in spite of Mr. C.'s favour for him, that he is "nothing," or very little more, "but a fluff of feathers!"[1] She is true and good, and the most womanly creature.

I go to Sherborne on Friday to stay till Monday. It is [Page 40]  a long, fatiguing journey for so short a time, and will be a sad visit; but she[1] wishes it. And now, good-night.

With kind regards to all.

Affectionately yours,



To T. Carlyle, Linlathen, Dundee.

Chelsea, Tuesday, 3 August, 1852.

Oh, my Dear, if I had but a pen that would mark freely - never to say spell - and if I might be dispensed from news of the house, I would write you such a Lettre d'une voyageuse as you have not read "these seven years!" For it was not a commonplace journey this at all; it was more like the journey of a Belinda or Evelina or Cecilia: your friends "The Destinies," "Immortal gods," or whatever one should call them, transported me into the Region of mild Romance for that one day. But with this cursed house to be told about, and so little leisure for telling anything, my Miss Burney faculty cannot spread its wings. So I will leave my journey to Sherborne for a more favourable moment, - telling you only that I am no worse for it; rather better, if indeed I needed any bettering, which it would be rather ungrateful to Providence to say I did. Except that I sleep less than ordinary mortals do, I have nothing earthly to complain of - nor have had since you left me. Nor will I even tell you of the Macreadys in this Letter. I cannot mix up the image of that dear dying woman with details about bricklayers and carpenters. [Page 41]  You ask what my prophetic gift says to it, which is more to be depended on than Mr. Morgan's calculations. My Dear, my prophetic gift says very decidedly that it will be two months at least before we get these fearful creatures we have conjured up laid. The confusion at this moment is more horrible than when you went away. The Library is - exactly as you left it! The plasterers could not commence there on account of the moving of the floors above; and the front bedroom floor could not be got on with on account of the pulling down of the chimney; your bedroom is floored, and has got its window-shutters; and the painter was to have begun there on Saturday, and has not appeared yet; and Mr. Morgan keeps away, and I am nearly mad. My present bedroom is as you left it, - only more full of things. The chimney above, up-stairs, is carried back and finished; the floor is still up there and the ceiling down; it will be a week before they get the floor laid there; and till then plastering can't be begun with below!!

... And now you must consider and decide. For two months I am pretty sure there will be no living for you here. I can do quite well; and seem to be extremely necessary for shifting about the things, and looking after the men. The only servant in the house is little Martha. Our Beauty was as perfect a fool as the sun ever shone on, and at the end of a week left, finding it "quite impossible to live in any such muddle." I have been doing very well with Martha for the last week; and Irish Fanny is engaged to come on the 27th; but I did not want a regular servant at present. [Page 42]  My idea is that you ought to go to Germany by yourself, leaving me here, where I am more useful at present than I could be anywhere else. But if you don't like that, there will be the Grange open for September, and you could go by yourself there. As to "cowering into some hole," you are "the last man in all England" that can do that sort of thing with advantage; so there's no use speculating about it.

If you could make up your mind to Germany any easier for my going to see to the beds, etc., of course there is no such absolute need of my staying here, that I should not delegate my superintendence to Chalmers or somebody, and put Fanny into the kitchen, and go away; - but I don't take it the least unkind your leaving me behind; and with Neuberg to attend on you, I really think you would be better without me.

Ever yours,

J. W. C.

Love to Mr. Erskine, and thanks for his Note.


To T. Carlyle, Linlathen, Dundee.

Chelsea, Friday, '6 Aug., 1852.'

As to Nero, poor darling, it is not forgetfulness of him that has kept me silent on his subject, but rather that he is part and parcel of myself: when I say I am well, it means also Nero is well! Nero c'est moi; moi c'est Nero! I might have told something of him, however, rather curious. Going down in the kitchen the morning [Page 43]  after my return from Sherborne I spoke to the white cat, in common politeness, and even stroked her; whereon the jealousy of Nero rose to a pitch! He snapped and barked at me, then flew at the cat quite savage. I "felt it my duty" to box his ears. He stood a moment as if taking his resolution; then rushed up the kitchen stairs; and, as it afterward appeared, out of the house! For, in ten minutes or so, a woman came to the front door with master Nero in her arms; and said she had met him running up Cook's Grounds, and was afraid he "would go and lose himself!" He would take no notice of me for several hours after! And yet he had never read "George-Sand Novels," that dog, or any sort of Novels!

But of Germany: I really would advise you to go, - not so much for the good of doing it, but for the good of having done it. Neuberg is as suitable a guide and companion as poor humanity, imperfect at best, could well afford you. And I also vote for leaving me out of the question. It would be anything but a pleasure for me to be there, with the notion of a house all at sixes and sevens to come home to. ... You will take me there another time if you think it worth my seeing. Or I could go some time myself and visit Bölte; or I can have money to make any little journey I may fancy, - some time when I am out of sorts, - which I am not now, thanks God, the least in the world. If it were not for the thought of your bother in being kept out of your own house, I should not even fret over the slowness of the house-altering process. I can see that there is an immense deal of that sort of invisible work expended on it which you expended [Page 44]  on Cromwell. The two carpenters are not quick, certainly, but they are very conscientious and assiduous, giving themselves a great deal of work that makes no show, but which you should be the last man to count unnecessary. ... When it comes to putting everything in order again, it will be a much greater pleasure than going to Germany, I can tell you. - I had plenty of other things to tell; but when one gets on that house there is no end of it. ... But Oh, heavens! there is twelve striking.

Ever yours,

J. W. C.


To T. Carlyle, care of Joseph Neuberg, Bonn.

Chelsea, Thursday, 2 Sep., 1852.

... I have a new invitation to go to Addiscombe to-morrow, Friday, and stay till Monday (Lord Ashburton being gone to Scotland "quite promiscuously," and her Ladyship in consequence going a second time to Addiscombe). I accepted; being very anxious to have a Christian bed for a night or two, having alternated for a week betwixt the sofa in this room, and the bed at 2 Cheyne Walk, - on the same principle that Darwin frequents two clubs. ... Last night Lady A. sent me word by Fanny, who had taken her up the cranberry jam promised long ago, that it was possible she might not go till Saturday.

I dined with Forster on Tuesday, "fish and pudding"; and the Talfours and Brownings came to early tea. The Brownings brought me in their cab to Piccadilly and put [Page 45]  me in an omnibus. It was a very dull thing indeed; and I like Browning less and less; and even she does not grow on me. Mrs. Sketchley, after reading your Note for her,[1] held out her hand to me and - burst into tears! and Penelope fell a-crying at seeing her Mother crying, - without knowing why! "Whatever comes of it, - if nothing comes of it," said the old lady, "that is kindness never to be forgotten."

Ever yours affectionately,


P. S. - I hope John's love affair will get on.


To Dr. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, Monday, 'Sep., 1852.'

My dear John - ... Mrs. Macready is at Plymouth, Forster told me yesterday; stood the journey better than was anticipated; but the Doctor there gives no hopes of her. Oh no! one has only to look at her to feel that there is no hope.

I wonder now if you will break down in that enterprise? Please don't. I want very much to see you comfortably settled in life; and with a woman of that age, whom you have known for fifteen years, I should not feel any apprehensions about your doing well together.[2] But you put [Page 46]  so little emphasis into your love-making, that it won't surprise me if this one, too, get out of patience and slip away from you!

Your affectionate

J. W. C.


To Dr. Carlyle, Burnbraes, Moffat.

Chelsea, 15 September, 1852.

My dear John - ... Thanks God, however, the workmen are gradually "returning from the Thirty-years' War." My plasterers and plumbers are gone; and my bricklayers and carpenters going; and I have now only painting and paperhanging to endure for a week or two longer. ...

Meantime the Duke of Wellington is dead. I shall not meet him at Balls any more, nor kiss his shoulder, poor old man. All the news I have had from the outer world this week is sad. ...

"Like Mrs. Newton"[1] - that is charming! When shall I see her? It is really very pleasant to me, the idea of a new Sister-in-law! What on earth puts it in people's heads to call me formidable? There is not a creature alive that is more unwilling to hurt the feelings of others, and I grow more compatible every year that I live. I can't count the people who have said to me first and last, "I was so afraid of you! I had been told you were so sarcastic!" And really I am perfectly unconscious of dealing in that sort of thing at all. ... So depend [Page 47]  on it the Ba-ing will be agreeably disappointed when we meet.

But now I should be in bed. Nero is already loudly snoring on a chair. Good-night.

Yours affectionately,


Mrs. Carlyle's Love Story.

In November, 1852, Mrs. Carlyle wrote a short Story in the form of an "Imaginary Letter," in a little Note-Book which Carlyle has labelled "Child Love." Mr. Froude in his Life of Carlyle (i., 285), has printed the opening sentences of the Preface to the Story thus:

"What 'the greatest Philosopher of our day' execrates loudest in Thackeray's new Novel - finds indeed 'altogether false and damnable in it' - is that love is represented as spreading itself over our whole existence, and constituting one of the grand interests of it; whereas love - the thing people call love - is confined to a very few years of man's life; to, in fact, a quite insignificant fraction of it, and even then is but one thing to be attended to among many infinitely more important things. Indeed, so far as he (Mr. C.) has seen into it, the whole concern of love is such a beggarly futility, that in an heroic age of the world nobody would be at the pains to think of it, much less to open his mouth upon it."

Mr. Froude's deduction from this is: "A person who had known by experience the thing called love, would scarcely have addressed such a vehemently unfavourable opinion of its nature to the woman who had been the object of his affection."

What Carlyle meant by "the thing people call love" will be best made manifest by the Story itself. Possibly Mr. Froude's reason for omitting the Story may have [Page 48]  been that he feared it might suggest to shrewd readers the absurdity of the Irving Episode in his account of Carlyle's life. Irving gave lessons to Miss Welsh from October, 1811 to August, 1812. She was ten years and three months old when he began to instruct her; and eleven years, one month and some few days old when he left Haddington.

After the citation made by Mr. Froude, Mrs. Carlyle gives instances amongst her own acquaintances of people being "in love" at all ages from six to eighty-two; and then tells in the following graphic and amusing way:


Well, then, I was somewhat more advanced in life than the child in the aforesaid Breach-of-promise case, when I fell in love for the first time. In fact I had completed my ninth year; or, as I phrased it, was "going ten." One night, at a Dancing-school Ball, a stranger Boy put a slight on me which I resented to my finger ends; and out of that tumult of hurt vanity sprang my First-love to life, like Venus out of the froth of the sea!! - So that my First-love resembled my Last, in that it began in quasi-hatred.

Curious, that, recalling so many particulars, of this old story, as vividly as if I had it under my opera-glass, I should have nevertheless quite forgot the Boy's first name! His surname, or as the Parson of St. Mark's would say, "his name by nature," was Scholey, - a name which, whether bestowed by nature or art, I have never fallen in with since; but the Charles, or Arthur, or whatever it was that preceded it, couldn't have left less trace of itself had it been written in the "New Permanent Marking-ink!" [Page 49]  He was an only child, this Boy, of an Artillery Officer at the Barracks, and was seen by me then for the first time; a Boy of twelve, or perhaps thirteen, tall for his years and very slight, - with sunshiny hair, and dark-blue eyes; a dark-blue ribbon about his neck; and grey jacket with silver buttons. Such the image that "stamped itself on my soul forever!" - And I have gone and forgotten his name!

Nor were his the only details which impressed me at that Ball. If you would like to know my own Ball-dress, I can tell you every item of it: a white Indian muslin frock open behind, and trimmed with twelve rows of satin ribbon; a broad white satin sash reaching to my heels; little white kid shoes, and embroidered silk stockings, - which last are in a box up-stairs along with the cap I was christened in! my poor Mother having preserved both in lavender up to the day of her death.

Thus elegantly attired, and with my "magnificent eye-lashes" (I never know what became of these eye-lashes) and my dancing "unsurpassed in private life" (so our dancing-master described it), - with all that and much more to make me "one and somewhat" in my own eyes, what did I not feel of astonishment, rage, desire of vengeance, when this Boy, whom all were remarking the beauty of, told by his Mama (I heard her with my own ears) to ask little Miss Welsh for a quadrille, declined kurt und gut, and led up another girl, - a girl that I was "worth a million of," if you'll believe me, - a fair, fat, sheep-looking thing, with next to no sense; and her dancing! you should have seen it! Our dancing-master [Page 50]  was always shaking his head at her, and saying "heavy, heavy!" - But her wax-doll face took the fancy of Boys at that period, as afterwards it was the rage with men, till her head, unsteady from the first discovery of her, got fairly turned with admiration, and she ended in a mad-house, that girl! Ah! had I seen by Second-sight at the Ball there, the ghastly doom ahead of her, - only some dozen years ahead, - could I have had the heart to grudge her one triumph over me, or any partner she could get? But no foreshadow of the future Madhouse rested on her and me that glancing evening, tho' one of us, - and I don't mean her, was feeling rather mad. No! never had I been so outraged in my short life! never so enraged at a Boy! I could have given a guinea, if I had had one, that he would yet ask me to dance, that I might have said him such a No! But he didn't ask me; neither that night nor any other night; indeed, to tell the plain truth, if my "magnificent eyelashes," my dancing "unsurpassed in private life," my manifold fascinations, personal and spiritual, were ever so much as noticed by that Boy, he remained from first to last, impracticable to them!

For six or eight months, I was constantly meeting him at children's Balls and Tea-parties; we danced in the same dance, played in the same games, and "knew each other to speak to"; but the fat Girl was always present, and always preferred. They followed one another about, he and she, "took one another's parts," kissed one another at forfeits, and so on; while I, slighted, superfluous, incomprise, stood amazed as in presence of the infinite! But that was only for a time or two while I found [Page 51]  myself in a "new position;" a little used to the position, I made the best of it. After all, wasn't the fat Girl two years older than I? and that made such a difference! Had I been eleven "going twelve," - I with my long eyelashes, lovely dancing, etc., things would have gone very differently, I thought, - decidedly they would. So "laying the flattering unction to my soul," I gradually left off being furious at the Boy, and rejoiced to be in his company on any footing.

Next to seeing the Boy's self, I liked making little calls on his Mother; but how the first call, which was the difficulty, got made, I have only a half remembrance; or rather I remember it two different ways! - a form of forgetfulness not uncommon with me. I should say quite confidently, that I first found myself in Mrs. Scholey's Barracks at her own urgent solicitation, once when she had lighted on me alone at "the evening Band," if it were not for my clear recollection of being there the first time with my governess, who, of "military extraction" herself (she boasted her Father had been a serjeant in the militia), was extensively liée at the Barracks. At all events my Mother was on no visiting terms with this lady; and it is incredible I should have introduced myself on my own basis. Very likely she had besieged me to visit her; for the ladies at the Barracks were always manoeuvring to get acquainted in the Town. And just as likely my governess had taken me to her; for my governess had a natural aptitude for false steps. In either case, the ice once broken, I made visits enough at Mrs. Scholey's Barracks, where I was treated with all possible respect. [Page 52]  Still as a woman Mrs. Scholey didn't please me, I remember; inasmuch as she was both forward and vulgar; and it wasn't without a sense of demeaning myself, that I held these charmed sittings in her Barracks. But then, it wasn't the woman that I visited in her; it was the Boy's Mother; and in that character she was a sort of military Holy Mother for me, and her Barracks looked a sacred shrine! Then, so often as she spoke to me of her Son, and she spoke I think of little else, it was in a way to leave no doubt in my mind, that the first wish of her (Mrs. Scholey's) heart was to see him and me ultimately united; and there is no expressing how it soothed me under the confirmed indifference of the Son to feel myself so appreciated by his Mother. Nor was Mrs. Scholey herself my sole attraction to that Barracks: the Boy, be it clearly understood, I never saw there, or assuredly I should have made myself scarce. God forbid that at even nine years of age I should have had so little sense, - not to say spirit, - as to be throwing myself in the way of a Boy who wanted nothing with me! Oh no, the Boy was all day at School in the Town, within a gun-shot of my own door, - a quarter of a mile at least nearer me than his Mother. For the other attraction the Barrack room possessed for me, it was a Portrait, - nothing more nor less, - a dear little oval Miniature of the Boy in petticoats; done for him in his second or third year; and so like, I thought, - making allowance for the greater chubbiness of babyhood, and the little pink frock, of no sex. At each visit I drank in this "Portrait charmant" with my eyes, and wished myself artist enough to copy it. Indeed [Page 53]  had one of the Fairies I delighted to read of stept out of the Book, in a moment of enthusiasm, to grant any one thing I asked, I would have said, I am sure I would, "the Portrait charmant, then, since you are so good, all to myself for altogether!"

Still, I hadn't as yet, to the best of my remembrance, admitted to myself (to others it would have been impossible) that I was head and ears in love. Indeed an admission so entirely discreditable to me couldn't be too long suppressed. Oh, little Miss Welsh! at your time of age and with your advantages, to go and fall in love with an Artillery Boy, and he not caring a pin for you! It was really very shocking, very. And let us hope, I should have felt all that was proper on the discovery of my infatuation, if the circumstances under which it was made had been less poignant! The Boy's Regiment had received orders to march! To Ireland, I think it was; but the where was nothing. For me, in my then geographical blankness, the marching beyond my own sphere of vision was a marching into infinite space! Lo! Two more days and the Boy, his Mother, his Regiment and all that was his, would be in infinite space for me! Here was a prospect to enlighten one on the state of one's heart, if anything could! Now I knew all I had felt for him and all I felt; and I forgave him all about the fat Girl; and believed in the "Progress of the Species."[1] [Page 54] 

Had I stopt there, well and good; but a sudden thought struck me, a project of consolation so subversive of "female delicacy," that I almost blush to write it! But in these moments termed "supreme," one "swallows all formulas" as fast as look at them, - at least I do. This project, then? Could it be the confession of my love to its object, you may be thinking? Almighty Gracious! no, not that!! Though with no knowledge as yet of what my American young lady called "Life," instinct divined all the helplessness of that shift, even could I have gulped the indecency of it. No! My project was flagrantly compromising, and something might be gained by it. It was this simply: To persuade Mrs. Scholey to leave the little oval Miniature with me, on loan, on the understanding that when I was grown up and should have money, I would return it to her, set with diamonds; and as an immediate tribute of gratitude, or pure esteem, - whichever she liked, - I would present her with my gold filigree needle-case, the only really valuable thing I possessed, - and sent from India all the way! But it might go, without a sigh, in part payment of such a favour! Whether my idea was, that "grown up" and "having money," I should procure a copy of the Miniature for myself, besides the diamonds for Mrs. Scholey, or whether it was that I should have another attachment by then, and that Portrait be fallen obsolete, chi sa? One can't remember everything, even in remembering much. Only so far as the actual crisis was concerned, my project and its results have left a picture in my mind as distinct as that Descent from the Cross hanging on the opposite wall. [Page 55] 

It was not without misgivings enough that I entered on this questionable enterprise. I felt its questionability in every fibre of my small frame. But what then? The day after to-morrow the Boy's self would be in infinite space for me; and if I had not his picture to comfort me, how on earth should I be comforted? So I took a great heart, prayed to Minerva, I remember. I had got converted to Paganism in the course of learning Latin, and Minerva was my chosen goddess. And in the first interval of lessons, I ran off to the Artillery Barracks, taking the gold needle-case in my hand; and never had it looked so pretty! Mrs. Scholey was at home packing up (ah me!), and the Miniature was in its old place. I had been so afraid of it being packed up, that the mere seeing it seemed a step in getting it. There it hung, by its black ribbon, from a nail over the fireplace; and, "didn't I wish I might get it?" If only I might have walked off with it without a word! But I was come to beg, not steal, good God; and "to beg I was ashamed!" My program had been to throw myself on Mrs. Scholey's generosity for the picture; and then to slip my needle-case into her hand. But face to face with the lady, something warned me to offer her the needle-case first, and throw myself on her generosity after. Still how to unfold my business even in that order? My position became every moment more false; I sat with burning cheeks and palpitating heart, - my tongue refusing "its office" save on indifferent topics, till I felt that in common decency I could sit no longer. And then only, - in the supreme moment of bidding Mrs. Scholey farewell, - did I find courage to [Page 56]  present my needle-case, - with what words I know not; but certainly without one word about the picture. For the rapid acceptance of my really handsome gift, as a "good the gods had provided her," and no more about it, quite took away my remaining breath, and next minute I found myself in the open air, "a sadder and a wiser child!"

At three o'clock the following morning, the Boy's Regiment marched, with Band playing gaily "The Girl I've left behind me." Soundly as I slept in those years, I could not sleep through that; and sitting up in my little bed to catch the last note, it struck me I was the Girl left behind, little as people suspected it! - For a day or two I felt quite lost, and was "not myself again" for weeks. Still at nine years of age, so many consolations turn up, and one is so shamefully willing to be consoled!

For the rest, young Scholey (I wish I could have recollected his first name!) had slipt through my fingers like a knotless thread: he never came back to learn our fates (the fat Girl's and mine), nor did news of him dead or alive ever reach me. And so, in no great length of time, - before I had given him a successor even, - he passed for me into a sort of myth; nor for a quarter of a century had I thought as much of him, put it altogether, as I have done in writing these few sheets.

It would have made a more "thrilling narrative" to read, if that love of mine had been returned; for "with the reciprocity all on one side," as the Irish say, the interest flags, don't you find? - On the whole, my First-love wasn't the smart piece of work to have been predicted of such [Page 57]  a smart little Girl; - a Girl so renowned for her eyelashes, her Latin and her wit. But nothing is so baffling for human eyesight as to predict of other people's loves; it is hard enough to make head or tail of them in completion. Indeed, logically considered, the whole "thing people call love," like the power of God, "passeth understanding."

For one condition of my First-love, however, I cannot be too thankful to the "gods," the "Destinies," or whatever singular or plural power presides over the Love-department "here down"; for this namely, that it had no consequences (the loss of my gold filigree needle-case was not a consequence to "speak of"). Many a poor girl has been brought to marriage, and the Devil knows what all, by her First-love, - actually got married, "for better for worse, till death do part," on the strength of it! About as sensible and promising a speculation it seems to me, as getting married "for better for worse till death do part" on the strength of measles or scarlatina! But such reflections, did I let myself go to them, might lead me too far. ... So "I add no more, but remain, my dear Sir,

Your obedient servant,"[1]       J. W. C.

[Page 58] 


To Mrs. Russell, Thornhill.

Chelsea, 24th February, '1853.'

Dearest Mrs. Russell - I have fallen on a plan for recollecting old Mary's money now: can you divine it from the date of this? [1]

We have the finest "storm" here I ever saw in London; it is seldom that snow lies here at all, and in former years when we had any, I was out of condition to see it, being confined to my room. This time, on the first night of the snow, I walked home thro' it from the Theatre, with my bonnet hanging on my back part of the way, one minute taking myself a "slide," and the next lifting a handful of snow to eat it! In fact, that almost forgotten Scotch-looking snow had made me perfectly drunk, or I should hardly have "tempted Providence" in such a distracted manner! But Providence being proverbially "kind to women, fools and drunk people," I had three claims on it that night, which were duly acknowledged; and I escaped safe and sound from my snow adventure. A few days after, however, I did catch cold, - not in having my own humour out, but in doing a piece of duty, - and I have to stay in-doors, not feeling, however, that the mischief is likely to last long. Certainly that cold bath the first thing of a morning is a blessed invention! I am sure it is on the strength of that, under Heaven, that I am so much hardier than I used to be, and less bother to all concerned with me. [Page 59] 

A friend[1] of mine who has a great deal of money, and a great deal of time, and a great deal of "superfluous activity," has lately provided himself with a photograph apparatus, after having exhausted the resources of a turning machine, of building himself an iron house to live in, and a yacht to sail in, of adopting three or four children, and what not, he now kills his time wholesale in a very agreeable manner, making photographs of all his acquaintance and of any Portraits which he chooses to multiply. He possesses a very like, very sour-looking Portrait of me,[2] by Laurence, the Painter of most geniuses in London, tho' not having the gift of flattering his pictures he has not all the employment he ought to have. And this Portrait my friend makes at the rate of two copies at least per day for weeks and weeks; every time he comes he brings me a handful "to give to my friends!" As you belong, I hope, to that category, you will not, I trust, think me silly in sending you a Portrait of myself, when you were not wishing for it the least in the world. It was the thought, "Ah, how pleasant it would have been to send this to Templand," which put it in my head to send it as near as it could still be sent.

I have some thoughts of sending Captain Sterling with his apparatus to Scotland to do all my friends there! He is quite capable of it. I told him the other day that he ought to go to a great House in Cheshire[3] where was an old Spanish Picture in which three people that knew me [Page 60]  had found a figure "more like me than if I had sat for it," and bring away a photograph of that! And he answered with perfect gravity, "Get me the precise address and a line of introduction ... (The rest wanting.)


To Dr. Carlyle, Moffat.

Chelsea, Tuesday, 'May or June, 1853.'

My dear John - The inclosed Note will tell its own story. The writer is the Wife of James Martineau in Liverpool, as you will probably perceive by the light of Nature. As you and your Wife are both kind-hearted and courteous, I have no doubt you will permit this young gentleman to make your acquaintance. As Miss Benson phrased it, "too soon will the rude hand of Time sweep the down from the cheek of that beautiful enthu-si-asm!" without your coming over it with the razor of repulsion! Pray send the young man notice that he may call for you, or call for him, or do something to justify my promise to his Mother that her prayer would be granted her.

All is going on here much as usual, except that cocks are springing up, more and more, till it seems as if the Universe were growing into one poultry-yard! There is also a parrot, named Lara, at next door. All that has waked up Mr. C. into the old phrenzy to be "off into silence!" But the £300 or £400 laid out last year[1] give pause. And besides, as the old Servant said to his Master, when threatened with dismissal, "where the Deevil wud ye gang tae?" [Page 61] 

... Meanwhile the Town fills fuller every day: and more and more carriages call. ...

You might write to me sometimes, as well as to him. Love to your Wife, whom everybody that sees speaks well of.

Yours affectionately,

J. W. C.


To T. Carlyle, Chelsea.

Maryland St., Liverpool, 3 July, 1853.

All right, Dear, no collisions, no nothink of a disastrous nature since I started on my travels. Did you hear what my male fellow-passenger said when I appealed to him about Nero? "I assure you, sir, he will lie quite quiet; will not give you the slightest trouble." "I sincerely hope he will not!" From that specimen you may fancy how courteous he was likely to be. It was by the strongest protest I succeeded in keeping one-fourth of a window down, which, there being four of us, I maintained was my right. He put them both up, the brute, without asking by your leave; and would have kept them so all the way.

Helen was waiting for me, and the instant the door was opened at Liverpool, Nero leapt out, tho' he had never stirred at any other stopping! The sense of that dog!! Nobody asked for his ticket, and I rather grudged the four shillings.

They were all very glad to see me here, - especially my dear old Uncle. He is much changed, - inconceivably changed, in fact - for the better. A more beautiful old [Page 62]  man I never set eyes on! He looks eighty in age, and so frail that he can hardly get across the room; but his face is spiritualized into perfect beauty. With his blue silk nightcap, sitting there, you would take him for an old Poet or Divine, never for a man who had passed his life in business. I look at him with reverence, and think how few grow old like that. I do not see him for long at a time; he tries to speak to me, and speaking is extremely difficult for him. But he looks so benevolent on me, so content, so away in another world, while yet here, that the tears rise into my throat when I look at him, and think what good must have lain in him always, that he can look thus under his infirmity now. Helen seems pretty well in health, but more skeleton-like and more misshapen than ever. Geraldine Jewsbury came over to see me yesterday, and is to stay till to-morrow. Helen took a bed for her in this street. She is the same, outside and in; she amuses us all with her Manchester stories, and her confessions of her strange feeling in seeing her new Sister-in-law in her place. The Sister-in-law "behaves very much like a lady" to her as yet; but Geraldine thinks "her own sinful human nature won't let the thing go on long well."

I wrote to Mrs. John [Carlyle] yesterday that I would be with them on Tuesday. Helen accompanies me, which will make the journey less sad. I have been quit of my sickness, which neither you nor any one knows the constant horror of. Ever since I got into motion, and except during last night, I have been free from toothache also. ...

I brought a wedge away with me in the idea my friends might also have rattling windows; and it has done me [Page 63]  already excellent service. For the rest: "there cocks crow; here also crow cocks!" but I sleep thro' them, and the carts, too; and, thanks God, there are no - "what shall I say" - bugs, - upon my honour!

Ever affectionately yours,

J. W. C.


To Mrs. Russell, Thornhill.

Moffat House, Moffat, '10 July, 1853.'

Dear Mrs. Russell - Just look at the date of this Note! I am actually so near you! Ever since I came here, on Tuesday last, I have been wishing to write to you, but unable to make up my mind what to say. I would like much to see you; would like to see Thornhill and Crawford; but, Oh, dear Mrs. Russell, it needs so much courage to go to these places; and I have so little courage nowadays, I cannot yet decide to go. And at the same time I know that if I don't, I shall blame myself when I am back in England, as I did formerly.

At all events write me a few lines to say if you be at home, and if you could receive me for a day, if I went; or if you would come and meet me at Dumfries if I found it impossible to go further.

I stay here till Thursday next, when I go to Scotsbrig; and I shall be at Scotsbrig till Monday. After that I am all at sea, - not sure whether to go on to Haddington, or go right back to London, where Mr. C. is very melancholy by himself. Write by return of post, and address to "Mrs. [Page 64]  Thomas Carlyle" (my new Sister-in-law[1] calls herself Mrs. Carlyle), Moffat House, Moffat; or if it is more convenient not to write till Wednesday, address to me at Scotsbrig, Ecclefechan.

Tell old Mary that if she get no remembrance on my birthday, I shall be bringing it myself, or sending it soon after.

Oh, dear Mrs. Russell, I wish somebody would lift me up by force and set me down in your room.

God bless you.

Yours affectionately,



To T. Carlyle, Chelsea.

Moffat House, Thursday night, 14 July, 1853.

... I started from here with a headache, in a pour of rain, and found Jamie, with a face of cordial welcome, waiting for me at Ecclefechan Station. Before he left home (Scotsbrig), your Mother had been out of bed for half an hour! ... Her eyes had a quite natural look, and her colour was natural. She looked to me like a person who had had a bilious crisis which was past, and had left her cooler and calmer. She chewed some nice mutton chop while I was there, and said she hadn't felt so hungry for long. She spoke to me just as she used to do; indeed her faculties are as clear as yours or mine. The fact is, as you need not be told, that she is very frail, and any little accident, such as a pill failing, [Page 65]  shakes her to pieces. I do not see how she could be made more comfortable. Her room is nicely carpeted and warm, and tidy; and every attention seems to be paid to her. ... James Aitken left at the same time as John and I. Jean was to remain a few days, so that I shan't get much silence I guess.

Jane Howden writes that the Donaldsons will be quite glad to have me, and that if I find them too frail, "my own house is as wide open to me as ever it was!" How would that do? I have really some notion to go and try sleeping in the bedroom I used to sleep so soundly in!

I got your Letter and the Books from Jamie at the Station. Thank you for all you have done, and all you intended. ...

I wrote to Lady A. for her Birthday; happily I "took time by the forelock" and wrote on the 12th, tho' I dated my Letter the 13th, - otherwise in the alarm about your Mother and the intention of starting immediately for London, I should have forgotten the memorable occasion.

Ever yours,

J. C.


To T. Carlyle, Chelsea.

Maryland St., Liverpool, Sunday, 31 July, 1853.

I was sure of it! that you knew nothing about the Cab-strike[1] when you wrote on Thursday. Here it has been the main topic of conversation since Wednesday. [Page 66]  ... If you find to-morrow that the Cabs are at work again, you need not mind bringing a Fly; if the strike continues, the Fly will be very welcome. At the same time it is possible that the Fly-keepers may be making hay while the sun shines and exacting an extortionful price for their Fly's. In that case, just come yourself and help me with the luggage (I don't mean in carrying it), and I can walk. But I hope the Cabs will be all a-going again. In any case, I shall look out for the brown wide-awake and remain by my baggage till it come to the rescue.

I have been this morning to James Martineau's Church - close by here - and heard not James Martineau, but a perfect blockhead whom I could hardly help ordering to sit down and hold his peace. All about "Virtue being its own reward," "with the same relish!"[1] "Not only God" he said, but (what he seemed to consider infinitely more important) "all people were merciful towards the merciful man." As if it were not plain to me, and to everybody of common-sense, that the merciful man gets himself made into mince-meat by "all people" - and serves him right for being such a spoony as to expect any good to himself or "others" out of following the profession of mercy at this time of day!

There never was such a stock of pens as this house presents, unless at Chatham Street[2].

Mercy! I had as near as possible forgotten the one thing that needed to be said: I intend to leave by the [Page 67]  eleven o'clock train, which reaches Euston Square at 7 of the evening. Nero bids me say, not to feel hurt should he show little joy at seeing you, as his digestion is all deranged since he has been here, with the constant crumbs of "suet and plums" that fall to his share. When I came in from Church to-day, tho' it had been the first hour he had been separated from me since we left home together, he could hardly raise a jump.

Have some tea for me, - nothing else. I shall eat at Birmingham.

Ever your



To Dr. Carlyle, Moffat.

Chelsea, 'September, 1853.'

Thanks dear John for your news of my people and of my old home, - God bless it! If I had known beforehand, I would have begged you to call at Sunnybank, where the two old ladies (the Miss Donaldsons) would have been delighted to see anybody coming from me.

... Here we are again in a crisis of discomfort,[1] as you know. For the last week, however, Irish labourers have ceased to tumble down thro' the upstairs ceilings, bringing cartloads of dust and broken laths and plaster along with them; - five times this accident occurred!! - the last time within a yard of my head as I was stooping over a drawer. Had he dislocated my neck, as might so easily [Page 68]  have happened, one of us would have been provided with "a silent apartment" enough, without further botheration. It is a fine time for John Chorley, who has constituted himself the over-ruling Providence of the whole thing; and is to be seen running up and down the long ladder in front of the house the first thing of a morning when one looks abroad. How, with his head, he dare - surprises me. Meantime neither Mr. C. nor I have set eyes on the silent apartment which is progressing so noisily overhead. For the rest, the cocks are kept in the house by the washerman till about 9 in the morning, and our sufferings thro' them are rather of an imaginative sort.

London is as empty as I ever saw it; one was thankful almost for the return of Plattnauer. He made the most particular inquiries after you and your Lady, - is less mad than last year, in fact shows no mad symptoms at present but spending money with a rashness!

I hear often from Count Reichenbach. He has bought a large Farm within 15 miles of Philadelphia, and asks me questions about draining and "engines for making drain-tiles"; but he looks forward, I think, with secret desire, to a War, in which he may take part and get himself handsomely killed, rather than drain land in America.

Mazzini is in hopes of kicking up another shine almost immediately. He told me when I last saw him, he might go off again within ten days. I am out of all patience at his reckless folly. If one did not hear every day of new arrests and executions, one might let him scheme and talk, hoping it might all end in smoke; but it ends in [Page 69]  blood, and that is horrible. - Thirteen hundred arrests made in the Papal States within a week!

I am glad to hear of the Harp-playing; it will be a pleasure as well as an amusement. Pray remember me to the Artist.

Ever affectionately yours,

J. W. C.


To Mrs. Russell, Thornhill.

Chelsea, 'Oct., 1853.'

My dear Mrs. Russell - Will you kindly write me a few lines to tell me how it is going on with you all? I heard in Liverpool on my way home, thro' the young man who had been with Dr. Russell, that he was doing very well, out of all danger; and on my return I was most happy to see his own handwriting on the Newspaper, - tho' still not so steady as it used to be. But Mrs. Aitken, thro' whom I sometimes hear of you, having been absent from Dumfries almost continually since I left, attending her Mother at Scotsbrig, I have no news of Dr. Russell from her further; and am now anxious to know if he be going about again as usual.

What a sad piece of work my visit to Scotland was!

... At Liverpool, however, I staid a week; and would have been very well off there, but for horrible toothache, which had tormented me off and on from the time I left London. The night I came home I did not sleep one wink with it. In the morning before Mr. C. was up, I went off alone to a Dentist, and had two teeth drawn; [Page 70]  and in the evening it was found one of them had been a mistake: my toothache raging on one side exactly as before. So next morning I went again, and had a third drawn. All the pain brought on a bilious fit, which has made me good for nothing ever since.

I entrusted Mrs. Aitken with a woollen article for old Mary, which I hope was duly forwarded to you. How unlucky that I did not see you, dear Mrs. Russell, when I had actually made up my mind to go there![1] All good be with you!

Your affectionate

J. W. C.


To T. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, 26 December, 1853.

No Letter from you to-day, alas; and I suppose there is not even a chance in the evening, - to-day being kept as Christmas, there will probably be no evening delivery. At all rates, I have the satisfaction of knowing that you found your Mother alive, and that she knew you. That will be a lasting consolation for you, however it may be with her now. I daresay you thought me rather cruel in urging you onward without more rest; but I knew how you would suffer, better than you did yourself, if by waiting till Friday you had missed her last kind look.

Your Note came on Saturday evening. ... No Letters have come for you of any moment; I send them [Page 71]  such as they are: to have to read anything may be a distraction for you in your present circumstances. My Letters continue to come to me all round by the Grange, altho' I wrote both to Auchtertool and Liverpool that I was come home.

This morning I had a Note from the Grange itself; Lady A. wrote to announce a "little bracelet from the Tree," which Mrs. Brookfield was bringing up for me. I laid the Note carefully by (as I thought when I was clearing away an accumulation of papers this morning) in the intention of sending it; and when I went just now to the basket to take it out, I found only the envelope! The Note itself must have gone into the fire with the rest. But I can tell you all that was in it: First about the bracelet; then that she would be "sorry to lose the three weeks of affectionate greetings morning and evening that were to be broken up to-day"; then that she had had a Note from you on your arrival at Scotsbrig, but did not write to you, for you might be returned to Chelsea before her Letter could reach; lastly, how much money did she owe me? and that the turkey was sent without orders. And there you have the whole, I think.

Nothing has happened since the poultry was all removed - to the last feather - on Saturday afternoon. Enough of happening for months to come! I have written our thanks to Martin; also to Redwood, whose unfailing box arrived on Saturday afternoon. Welsh mutton, unusually small, which Ann and I are quite up to eating ourselves; a turkey, given immediately to Piper; a hare, sent "with grateful compliments" to Mrs. Morse, at No. 8, [Page 72]  who was so civil about her poultry; and a little cheese, which will keep.

A nice Haddington cake was handed in at the door the same day, in a bandbox with the direction in dear Betty's handwriting; not a word spoken, not a penny to pay! How does Betty manage that? - I see nobody, having not told anybody as yet that I am here.

My only "putting up the Christmas" was the breaking the seal on your present, and hanging it about my neck. I like it so much! and it suits my eyes capitally. I expected a pretty glass (I divined of course it was a glass) but it is a much handsomer one than I should have been contented with. Catch me ever wishing for any expensive thing before you again!

... Oh, dear me, perhaps you are too ill and miserable to care about this long Letter. I shall be so anxious till to-morrow. My love to them all. ...

Ever yours faithfully,



To T. Carlyle, Scotsbrig.

Chelsea, Thursday, '29 December, 1853.'

Thanks for two Letters, Dear; and excuse a short one in return. ...

Do you know, Dear, I don't like your always saying you are "well" in health. Nobody gets really well in that sudden way; and so you can only be feeling bodily well, either because your mind is so over-filled with sorrow that you have not a minute to listen to your sensations; [Page 73]  or because you are in a fever of biliousness which passes with one for wellness, - till the reaction comes. I knew that Isabella would make you more comfortable than you are ever made in any other house. She is indeed the kindest and politest hostess I ever fell in with. My kindest regards to her and Jamie.

Chapman has given me a cheque for £20, and is desirous of printing Burns immediately. "It is time now to spread a little more salt of Carlyle over the thing." He said you had a torn-up copy. Shall I send him Burns? And where shall I find it?

If you come on Saturday night you will find the painters cleared out. They certainly will have done on Saturday. The new room is much better painted than the drawing-room.

We had a heavy fall of snow yesterday, which is still lying. - Could you not manage to sleep at Chatham Street[1], on your way back? I am sure Sophy would be most glad to see you, and Alick is there now. You might warn her of your coming. - (100 Chatham St.).

Ever yours,

J. W. C.


To John Forster, Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Chelsea, Thursday, January, 1854.

My dear Mr. Forster - Thanks for your two Notes. Do pray come and see us. We are settled here for good now, - our visit at the Grange having been cut short by more [Page 74]  than one sorrow. You remember my poor Cousin Helen you were so good to? She died the week before Mrs. Carlyle, quite suddenly. She had a dropsy which must have ended her life in a few years; but she wrote to me on the Thursday that she was unusually well; and on the Tuesday they wrote to me that she was dead of a two days' cold.

Mrs. Carlyle was eighty-two; had been for months hanging on to life as by miracle. There was preparation enough for that loss, if any preparation can make the loss of a Mother less felt.

After getting your first Note, I was thinking to go and see you, - your devout imaginations about coming here so often turning into paving-stones for a place that Dr. Jelf[1] is "filled with terror and amazement" to be told is perhaps a myth. But the weather had stopt wheeled vehicles, and it was too far to walk. So do, like a good man as you are, come and spend a few hours.

Affectionately yours,


I don't think Mr. C. is any wise hurt by his hurried visit to Scotland; and the recollection of having seen his Mother at the last, and having been gladly recognised by her, will be good for him all the rest of his life.


To Dr. Carlyle, Moffat House, Moffat.

Chelsea, 9 May, 1854.

... I have got the Influenza again, - caught cold [Page 75]  returning from a dinner-party at the Procters' on Saturday night, and am at present in the third stage of the thing, - the coughing and sneezing stage.

I saw the "Noble Lady" that night; and a strange tragic sight she was! sitting all alone in a low-ceilinged confined room at the top of Procter's house; a French bed in a corner, some relics of the grand Bedford-Square Drawingroom (small pictures and the like) scattered about. Herself stately, artistic as ever; not a line of her figure, not a fold of her dress changed since we knew her first, 20 years ago and more![1] She made me sit on a low chair opposite to her (she had sent for me to come up), and began to speak of Edward Irving and long ago as if it were last year - last month! There was something quite overpowering in the whole thing: the Pagan grandeur of the old woman, retired from the world, awaiting death, as erect and unyielding as ever, contrasted so strangely with the mean bedroom at the top of the house, and the uproar of company going on below. And the Past which she seemed to live and move in felt to gather round me too, [Page 76]  till I fairly laid my head on her lap and burst into tears! She stroked my hair very gently and said, "I think, Jane, your manner never changes any more than your hair, which is still black, I see." "But you too are not changed," I said. "You know," she said, "when I was still a young woman, I dressed and felt like an old one, and so age has not told so much on me as on most others." When I had staid with her an hour, or so, she insisted on my going back to the company, and embraced me as she never did before. Her embrace used to be so freezing always to my youthful enthusiasm; but this time she held me strongly to her heart, and kissed my cheeks many times heartily, like a mother. I was near going off into crying again. I felt that she was taking eternal farewell of me in her own mind. But I don't mean it to be so: I will go again to see her very soon. The great gentleness was indeed the chief change in her, - not a hard word did she say about anyone; and her voice, tho' clear and strong as of old, had a human modulation in it. You may fancy the humour in which I went back to the Party, which was then at a white heat of excitement - about nothing!

... There is a great deal of talking about the Ruskins here at present. Mrs. Ruskin has been taken to Scotland by her Parents; and Ruskin is gone to Switzerland with his; and the separation is understood to be permanent. There is even a rumour that Mrs. Ruskin is to sue for a divorce. I know nothing about it, except that I have always pitied Mrs. Ruskin, while people generally blame her, - for love of dress and company and flirtation. She was too young and pretty to be so left to her own devices [Page 77]  as she was by her Husband, who seemed to wish nothing more of her but the credit of having a pretty, well-dressed Wife.

With kind regards to your Wife,

Yours ever,

J. W. C.


To Mrs. Russell, Thornhill.

Chelsea, 'Autumn, 1854.'

On getting your first Letter, dear Mrs. Russell, before reading a word of it, I knew it was about poor Mary; that it was to tell me she was dying or dead. ... It is well the poor old kind-hearted creature has had so gentle an end. At her age life could scarcely be a blessing; and yet she seemed content to hold to it, such as it was, and so one wished her to live. Besides, I have always felt her a sort of living legacy from my darling Mother; and now even that poor little tie is broken, and there is one heart fewer in the world of those who loved my Mother and gratefully revered her memory.

I have not a doubt that all was done for her that could be done to prolong her existence and to make her end soft. I have the most implicit reliance on your kindness of heart and on your wish also to supply my Mother's place to poor Mary. God bless you for all the trouble you have taken about her! ...

We have staid generally here this whole year, in spite of the cholera. But, indeed, what use is there in flying from cholera in a town, when it finds its way into such [Page 78]  fresh green places as about Ecclefechan? It was very sad to walk out here for many weeks: in a single half-mile of street, I often met as many as six funerals.

I think I have not written to you since Mrs. John Carlyle's death? That was a horrid business. It looked such a waste of a woman and child. Of course she was to die; yet humanly viewed, one could not help believing that if she had staid at home and taken the ordinary care of herself that her situation required, she might have borne a living child and done well. But her constant excursions on railways, and sight-seeing and house-hunting, seemed to us often, even before the accident which brought on her mortal illness, a sheer tempting of Providence.

I heard from my Aunt Elizabeth the other day, and she sent with her Letter, a small Book on "Grace." They are indefatigable in their efforts at conversion. Except "to convert" me, they seem to have no interest in me whatever. Mrs. George Welsh is coming to stay at Richmond with her Son, thro' the Winter, at least. He is a good and clever lad, and a kind Son as ever was. I only wish he had more salary to be kind with.

My kind regards to your Father and Husband. Believe me, dear Mrs. Russell, ever affectionately yours,



To John Forster, Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Chelsea, Wednesday, '14 Feb., 1855.

Dear Mr. Forster - Since you will ask us to dine with you on Monday, it is a clear case of your being disengaged


[Page 79]  on Monday, and at leisure. Ergo, you can, if you like, come and dine with us here. And won't you like? There's a good man! It is cold weather for "a delicate female" to front the night air in; and at the same time I am wearying to see you, at "some reasonably good leisure." So come you here this time; and we will go to you when things are softer. If any other day would suit you better than Monday, name it; only leaving me time to ask Darwin to meet you, as I know he would thank me for the opportunity.

Oh, Mr. Forster, isn't it cold?

I have been looking over - to read it is impossible - that confused compilation calling itself Memoirs of Lady Blessington. Of all that is sad to think of in that poor kind-hearted woman's life, this last fatality of falling into the hands of such a Biographer seems to me the saddest of all! What a pity but Captain Maclean's black cook had "carried out" his intention of "poisoning" this Madden!

Yours affectionately,



To T. Carlyle, Farlingay Hall, Woodbridge, Suffolk.[1]

Willesden, Saturday, 11 Aug., 1855.

The distance I have travelled (mentally) on that ten pounds[2] is hardly to be computed in British miles! But, materially, I am got only so far as - "what shall I say? - [Page 80]  Willesden, upon my honour!!" ... I "did design" then, for 24 hours, to start for Scotland in the Friday-night train! Travelling all night thro' the open air, alone, had been my dream for ever so long! I fancied I should fall into such sound, calm sleep in these circumstances. I told Darwin on Thursday, and he brought me a cake of chocolate to eat on the journey. Neither Geraldine nor Ann knew what was in my head; nor did Darwin know I meditated going by third class, and at night. After parting from Darwin on Thursday, while I was taking my tea at half-after five, a sudden thought struck me: would the third-class carriages to Edinburgh really be open ones, like those to Brighton; and if not, what would they be like? Better inform myself on that point before-hand. I put on my bonnet instantly, and walked to Sloane Square, where I took an Islington omnibus and reached Euston Square Station in time to see the train start at eight. Oh, Heavens! the third-class was a Black Hole of Calcutta on wheels! closely roofed-in, windows like pigeon-holes, and no partition to separate the twelve breaths of one compartment from all the breaths of all the third-class carriage! The second-class was little better; and the expense of first-class, tho' I could have perfectly well stood it, would have been far greater than the advantage to be attained warranted me to indulge in. So that project was felled on the spot. ...

Meanwhile Chalmer's paint was killing strong; and our house carpetless and comfortless, and Ann in not the best of tempers at having to bestir herself instead of taking her ease, with us both out of the way. So when Mr. Neuberg [Page 81]  came to ask me to Willesden for a day or two, I was glad to start there and then, and sleep one night at least in a new position.

It is as charmingly fresh here, the air, as anywhere, I should guess; and there are gooseberries; and when the young gentlemen had made an end of "hollering" and banging and bumping overhead, reminding one severely of the Addiscombe footmen, the house was sufficiently quiet, and my bed was four-posted, and free of bugs. But, as there is always a something, I did not get slept a quarter of an hour together, thro' the infatuation of Nero! He had been struck at first sight with a grand passion for "Mrs. Tott-ünter's" [Todhunter's] spaniel; had galloped about after it all the evening, and couldn't forget it a moment. After we went to our room, instead of lying down, and going off to sleep, he who can sleep! he sat the whole night with his head in the air; and as often as I fell asleep, he crept up and impetuously scratched my hand, or flung himself over the high bed, into which he could not get back without my rising to lift him. "The troubles that afflict the just!"

I am going home before post time, and shall send any Letters; but I write here, not to be hurried. To-night I shall sleep at home; and to-morrow I must stay at home all day, having promised to give Ann a holiday, - to encourage her to get thro' her work cleverly. But on Monday I shall go to Brighton, that is all the program I have for the moment. I may go on to Bexhill that day, or may sleep at Brighton, or may return to sleep at Chelsea and start fresh. [Page 82] 

You are getting beautiful weather now surely. I hope you will stay longer than the week; for I am sure you can't expect to find anywhere a more comfortable host.

Ever yours,


Cheyne Row. Neuberg has made me too late; I have hardly had time to glance over your Letter. - None for you.


To T. Carlyle, Addiscombe.[1]

Chelsea, Wednesday, 12 Sep., 1855.

Such a row of bells as we got near London! "Dost thou know why the bells are ringing?" asked a Quaker beside me of a working man opposite. "Well, I suppose, [Page 83]  there is something up; they were saying at the Station Sebastopol was took and the Russians all run away!" Presently I had the pleasure of reading on a placard, "Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah! Glorious news! Sebastopol in possession of the Allies!" Don't they wish they may keep it?

I walked home by Lincoln's Inn, and got Browning's address from Forster, who opened the door himself, and screamed at sight of me almost as loud as I screamed at sight of him. I had expected only Henry.[1] Forster was just five minutes returned; had come to Town to receive Macready for a day or two. He declared, "By Jove! he would beat you up some day, and get you to dine with him at some tavern, somewhere." Browning's address: 13 Dorset Street, Baker Street. The quickest and most certain way of arranging a meeting, will be for me to go and see him and send you the result in a postscript in this Note.

Nero was awoke out of a sound sleep by my rap, and came to the door yawning and stretching himself, and did not give even one bark; just looked, as much as to say, "Oh, you are there again, are you? Well, I was doing quite nicely with Ann." So there was not even "a dog glad at my home-coming!"

I have been putting the roof on your bed, and house-maiding vigorously all morning. The evening I am to spend at the Pepoli's.

Mrs. Wedgwood answers my Note to Charles Darwin. She, and I don't know who else, but enough to make "we," are to be in Town for to-day and to-morrow, and will "try [Page 84]  to see me." But Mrs. Wedgwood's "try" is far from being like Macready's, synonomous with "do."

I hope your pigeons proved a good go, and that you slept till breakfast time this morning. I slept pretty well, but dreamt horrors.

I asked Ann yesterday did Mr. Piper leave any news this morning. "Well, no, none - nothing, I think - only that that place - that Sebastopol - was taken!"

Ever yours,


Dorset Street. Mr. Browning engaged on Saturday. Will come, Mrs. B. thinks, to tea on Sunday. Will send word to you at Addiscombe if he can't.


To Mrs. Russell, Thornhill.

Chelsea, Monday, 'Autumn, 1855.' (?)

My dear Mrs. Russell - ... I was unusually busy, or perhaps I should rather say, unusually idle all last week, - a succession of callers every day, and Plays and Parties in the evenings. ... Last week I was at two Plays besides a Conjurer, - gaieties never coming single any more than misfortunes!

... Did I ever tell you that I have a beautiful view of Drumlanrig hanging in this room? It was done by Lady Ashburton, who shewed it to me one day, as a mere sketch, and I wouldn't give it her again. I wish [Page 85]  some one would do me a sketch of Templand. Do you know any accomplished young lady up to such a thing?

And now good-bye. I have a sewing-woman in the house to-day, and must seek her work. ...

Affectionately yours,



To Mrs Russell, Thornhill.

Chelsea, Friday, '8 Feb., 1856.'

My dear Mrs. Russell - I like to believe myself interesting to you, and so I write to tell you about my side or breast (for I never knew which to call it, the hurt being just where the ribs join the breast bone). I had made up my own mind, that after mustard blistering at it for four whole days, to subdue the inflammation, there was nothing more to be done. But Countess Pepoli (Elizabeth Fergus) and my chief friend, Geraldine Jewsbury, made such long faces and prayed so hard I would "see a surgeon," that finally I saw a surgeon, - and what was worse, a surgeon "saw me,"[1] for I had to shew him the pretty state into which I had reduced my skin with the mustard! He laughed at my energetic manner of carrying out a prescription of mustard; and for the rest, recommended - patience! which I "could not carry too far." "These things took a long time" (I knew that as well as he), "and on the whole they were best let alone" (I thought I knew [Page 86]  that too). ... Erasmus Darwin recommended him in preference to Brodie or Cuttle, because "he wouldn't flurry me, and wouldn't do anything merely for the sake of doing"; - and that is just his virtue; for any complicated case, I would never "see" him again: he looks so soft! So I was glad to have got off without leeches, which I have a wild horror of being touched by! and also that I was not required to lay up, - as without plenty of walking I can't sleep a bit - very little with it! The pain is wearing off gradually and rapidly within the last few days; so that now I can lie in any position, - indeed hardly feel it, - and believe it to have been nothing but a simple sprain.

Arn't you glad we are to have peace? At least people who should know best believe in the peace. My own only two friends in the Crimean army, Sir Colin Campbell and Colonel Sterling, make no doubt but that Autumn will see them all home. The people in the City, a Cabinet Minister told me yesterday, are getting as wild for war with America as they were for war with Russia; but there will be more words to that!

Your account of the Lann Hall[1] splendours amuses me very much. The idea of that quiet little sensible woman having to pass her life beside a fountain in a conservatory! ... We had the Daughter of the Duke of Richmond at the Grange when I was there, and when one wet day I asked her if she was going to walk in the conservatory (it is the 36th-part of a mile long) she said, "Oh, dear, no! I put on strong shoes and take an umbrella when it rains, and a right long walk over the Downs. It is so much [Page 87]  pleasanter!!" Mrs. Pringle would have been much the better for a few days beside that real Lady - to learn simplicity.

Your affectionate

J. W. C.

Mrs Carlyle's Journal.

Mrs. Carlyle's Journal was written in two little Note-books, labelled "No. 1" and "No. 2" respectively; the first of these begins on the 21st of October, 1855, and ends with the entry for the 14th of April, 1856; and the second extends from April 15th to the 5th of July, 1856. Only the latter of these Note-books had been discovered when Carlyle was writing (in July, 1866) that part of the Reminiscences called "Jane Welsh Carlyle."

Carlyle removed the covers from this Note-book, "No. 2," and introduced the leaves bodily, at their proper date, into the larger Note-book in which he was writing the "Jane Welsh Carlyle," his intention evidently being that this part of his Wife's Journal should be read along with his own Narrative. The pages were sewed into the MS. of the Reminiscences, and follow the words, "seek where I may." (See Norton's Edition, i., 203, Froude's Edition, ii., 245.)

When Mr. Froude published the Reminiscences, he omitted Mrs. Carlyle's Journal, without making any reference to it at all; and reserved it for use, apparently at a later date in the Letters and Memorials.

At some date subsequent to the writing of the Reminiscences, Note-book "No. 1" (the earlier part of Mrs. Carlyle's Journal) was found; but there is no evidence to show that Carlyle intended that it should ever be published. It bears a label in his hand, on the outer cover, "Diary of Hers, 21 Oct., 1855 - 14 April, 1856."; [Page 88]  but he has not annotated it or prepared it in any way for publication; and the natural inference is that he did not wish it to be published.

Mr. Froude, however, has taken nearly all his extracts from Mrs. Carlyle's Journal out of this Note-book "No. 1 ." (over fifteen pages of print in the Letters and Memorials); whilst he cites less than half a page from the part of the Journal selected by Carlyle and prepared by him for possible publication.

Under these circumstances, I have thought it the better plan not to choose extracts from both Note-books, which would necessarily be inconclusive and more or less unsatisfactory, as all "extracts" are, however fairly chosen, but to give one of the Note-books in full, - since I have not space to spare for both, were there no other objection. For this purpose I, of course, choose the Note-book selected by Carlyle. It follows here, without suppression of more than a proper name or two, exactly as it stands and stood when it first came into my possession.

Carlyle calls Note-book "No. 2". a "sad record"; and attributes the dispiritment and unhappiness of his Wife "chiefly to the deeper downbreak of her own poor health, which from this time, as I now see better, continued to advance upon the citadel, or nervous-system." The opening sentences of the Note-book fully confirm the correctness of this view.

15th April, 1856. - I am very feeble and ailing at present; and my ailment is of a sort that I understand neither the ways nor outlooks of; so that the positive suffering is complicated with dark apprehensions. Alas, alas, and there is nobody I care to tell about it, - not one, - poor ex-spoilt child that I am!

To keep up the appearance of being alive is just as much as I can manage. Every day I get up with the wish to do ever so many things; but my wishes are no longer [Page 89]  "presentiment of my powers," if they ever were so! At the day's end I find I have merely got thro' it, better or worse, not employed it; all strength for work of any sort being used up in bearing the bodily pressure without crying out. I am in arrears with even "the needle-work of the Family." In fact, look at it which way I will, I don't see why, if I did die, I should "regret the loss of myself" (as Mr. Davis's beggarman said).

16th April. - Geraldine and I went to-day to St. Luke's to witness a confirmation performed by the Bishop of Oxford. Heavens! how well he did it! Even I was almost touched by the tears in his voice, and the adorable tenderness of his exhortation![1]

17th April. - Wrote a long Letter to St. Thomas[2] in answer to one received from him the other day, - such a darling Letter! (I mean his, not mine.)

Went with Geraldine to look at the Marlborough House pictures; but was too tired and sick to do anything but sit about on chairs. Came home half-dead and lay on the sofa till Miss Williams Wynn came to tea; "very much detached"; as that lady generally is now; hithering and thithering among the Stump-orators of every denomination, threatening to deteriorate into a mere dingle-doosie[3] in fact. [Page 90] 

18th April. - Baked! Went with Geraldine to see the Chelsea Commission at work on Lord Lucan.[1] Could not get near enough to hear. The Commissioners looked very sleepy and Lord Lucan very weary. No wonder! Charles Villiers was sitting among the red-coats looking like Mephistopheles. And the back of Lord Lucan's head is bald; hair black. These are all the particulars I gleaned. The large Hall was beautifully carpeted and fitted up for the occasion; and the table at which the Commissioners sat, was covered with a white table-cloth, as if for the Lord's Supper. - How sick I have been all this day! - "Be thankful you are not in Purgatory!" (as the Annandale man told his complaining friend).

19th April. - Wrote a business Letter to Mr. Adamson.[2] Dragged myself to Sloane Street, to see Mrs. Hawkes. She looked more suffering than myself; and, as usual, made melancholy fun of her sufferings. She told me that Mrs. Hooper, the authoress of The House of Raby, is going blind. Poor creature! all her faculties needed to make ends meet; and going blind!

Read Miss X.-----'s new Novel, ..... all the evening. They call it her best book; I find it sickly and rather wearisome. The wonder is that the poor young woman can write at all, with her body all "gone to smithers!" [Page 91] 

20th April (Sunday). - Plattnauer in the morning. I was too poorly for walking with him, so we talked intimately over the fire. Except Geraldine no other callers. I fell asleep while Geraldine was here, and again after she had gone! This weakness is incomprehensible; if I had any person or thing to take hold of and lean my weight on!

Mr. Neuberg at tea. But Mr. C. fled off to Bath House[1] and walked him out. I would advise no man to creep into another's favour by making himself "generally useful": he is sure to get kicked out of it when the other has got blasé on his subserviency. If one do not like a man for what he is, neither will one ever like him for what he does for one, or gives one. Neither should any man or woman get up a quasi-liking for another on the ground of his subserviency, "obligingness," and that sort of thing; for when the other has gained the end of his subserviency, a certain favour or at least toleration, he tires of being obliging, and sets up for himself, and complains perhaps, like the Colonel,[2] that he is "made a convenience of!"[3] [Page 92] 

21st April. - I feel weaklier every day; and "my soul is also sore vexed." "Oh how long?"

I put myself in an omnibus, being unable to walk, and was carried to Islington and back again. What a good shilling's worth of exercise! The Angel at Islington! It was there I was set down on my first arrival in London; and Mr. C. with Edward Irving was waiting to receive me.[1] "The past is past, and gone is gone!"

At night I sewed a lace border on the Mexican pockethandkerchief Mrs. Arbuckle gave me, in the view of wearing it as a head-dress!

22nd April. - I heard a man explaining to another what the Chelsea Commission was after. "They were trying to find out, and can't, you see, for all their trying, find out what they have gone and done!" Ladies take their crochet work to the sittings of the Committee!!

Not up to even a ride in an omnibus to-day. Mrs. Twisleton came. Speaking of a complication that some people had said should have been righted in this way, and some in that way; "I wonder," said the little practical woman, "that it never occurs to anybody, that in such cases a little selfcontrol and a little selfdenial would keep all straight."

Miss Farrar dropt in before tea, and meeting Mr. Fergus, staid the evening. [Page 93] 

23rd April. - The Countess[1] sat an hour with me in the morning. She is sure I "don't eat enough." I could not walk further than half-way to Sloane Square! Oh dear, Oh dear! this living merely to live is weary work!

24th April. - Soon after breakfast I went by two omnibuses to Hampstead, with Nero and a Book; and spent several hours sitting on the Heath, and riding in a donkey-chair. The pleasantest thing I have tried for some time; and the fresh wind up there has revived me a little.

Mr. C. told me at dinner that the unlikeliest of living men to be met in the streets of London had got out of a carriage to speak to him in Piccadilly, - "an iron-grey man with a bitter smile; who do you think?" "George Rennie," I answered without a moment's hesitation. And it was! And, how on earth did I divine him? I had not a shadow of reason to believe he was not still Governor of the Falkland Islands! not the shadow of a shadow of reason! And he was not "an iron-grey man" when I had last seen him.

25th April. - While talking philosophy with Mr. Barlow to-day, there drove up a carriage, and I heard a voice enquiring if I were at home, which I knew tho' I had not heard it for ten years! - Mr. Barlow I can see is trying to "make Mrs. Carlyle out" (don't he wish he may get it?). What he witnessed to-day must have thrown all his previous observations into the wildest confusion. "The fact of her being descended from Knox had explained much in Mrs. Carlyle he (Mr. Barlow) hadn't (he said to [Page 94]  Geraldine) been able to make out." Did it explain for him my sudden change to-day, when flinging my accustomed indifference and the "three thousand punctualities" to the winds, I sprang into the arms of George Rennie and kissed him a great many times! Oh, what a happy meeting! For he was as glad to see me as I was to see him.[1] Oh, it has done me so much good this meeting! My bright, whole hearted, impulsive youth seemed conjured back by his hearty embrace. For certain, my late deadly weakness was conjured away! A spell on my nerves it had been, which dissolved in the unwonted feeling of gladness. I am a different woman this evening. I am well! I am in an atmosphere of home and long ago! George spoke to me of Shandy[2] while he caressed Nero! It was only when I looked at his tall Son he brought with him, who takes after his Mother, that I could realise the lifetime that lay between our talks in the drawing-room at Haddington and our talk here in Cheyne Row, Chelsea. - Dear me! I shouldn't wonder if I were too excited to sleep, however.

26th April. - All right! I slept all the better for my little bit of happiness; and I really am strengthened body and soul. I have walked more to-day than any day these two months. George said his Wife would call to-day to arrange a meeting at their house; but she hasn't come.

My poor man of the wooden leg[3] brought to-night [Page 95]  his "papers" (a copy of his Grandfather's Will and other documents) to be examined by Mr. Chalmers. The result was hopeless: not a shadow of claim on his part to dispute the present disposition of the property; and moreover the property is like a Highlandman's breeches. I gave him a shilling and advice to put the thing out of his head, which of course he won't do.

27th April (Sunday). - All the world has been down at Chelsea to-day hearing Charles Kingsley preach. Much good may it do them! Kate Sterling came from him here, and then Mrs. Wedgwood. - Kate came to bid me farewell. She will be Mrs. Ross when we next meet, D. V. (there being as Venables remarked" two D's"). She went off without a symptom of emotion. Was that well? or ill? At all rates it is well that if she have no "finer sensibilities" she does not pretend to any.

28th April. - Mrs. George Rennie came to insist on 'our dining with them on the seventh of May. Would send the brougham for us, and it should take us after to our soiree at Bath House. In short it was dining made easy; and Mr. C. said finally, with inward curses, that "there was no refusing her." She looks very well, and was kind in her cold formal way. I had been fretting over the need of a new dress for the Bath House affair; but now I went after it with alacrity. George should see that the smart girl of his Province wasn't become a dowdy among London women of "a certain age."

Dined at Forster's. The two Mr. Speddings there.[1] A slow dinner. [Page 96] 

29th April. - Walked a good spell to-day. Called at Bath House.

30th April. - Walked to Alabaster's and bought a bonnet; and took some things to be framed at Watson's. - Dined at the Wedgwood's. Such a large Party: "Distinguished females" not a few! Mrs. G. said, "Mrs. Carlyle! I am astonished to meet you here; Miss Jewsbury told me last week she thought you were dying." "She was right," I said; and there our discourse ended. "I do not like thee, Dr. Fell. The reason why, etc." What is that quality in the skins of some women, both in pictures and real life, which always suggests nakedness, striptness? Mrs. G., for instance, reminds me always of a servant girl who has pulled off her gown to scrub her neck at the pump!

1st May. - Such a first of May for bitter cold! All day in the house, shivering. Lady Stanley and her Mother came; and we engaged to go to Lady Stanley's Party on Saturday night. When I had sent off for Mrs. Strachan to consult about new-trimming my white silk gown, I reminded myself of the "Bairns" of the "wee Wifie that lived in a shoe."

"She went to the butcher to buy a sheep's head,
When she came back they were all lying dead!
She went to the Wright's to order a coffin,
When she came back they were all sitting laughing!"

Last week I was all for dying; this week, all for Ball dresses.

15th May. - Alack! hiatus of a whole fortnight! for [Page 97]  no particular reason; only a general indisposition to do anything to-day that could possibly be put off till tomorrow. Perhaps it is a symptom of returning health this almighty indolence; or is it a premonitory symptom of apoplexy? I'm sure I don't know; and sometimes don't care.

Our dinner at the Rennies' was, like everything looked forward to with pleasure, an entire failure! The Past stood aloof, looking mournfully down on me; whilst the clatter of knives and forks, the babble of the guests, and the tramping of waiters confused my soul and senses. It was a London dinner Party, voilà tout! And the recollection, which I could not rid myself of, that the gentlemanly "iron-grey" man who as Landlord offered me "roast duck" and other" delicacies of the season," had been my lover, - my fiancé, - once on a time, served only to make me shy and in consequence stupid. And it was a relief when Ruskin called for us, to go to a great soiree at Bath House. There I found my tongue, and used it "not wisely but too well." There, too, I felt myself remarkably well-dressed. At the Rennies' I was always pulling my scarf up to my throat, with a painful consciousness of being over-smart.

No other Party since except a little early tea-party at Geraldine's, where I met for the first time Madame de Winton, authoress of Margaret and her Bridesmaids. I have not for years seen a woman who so captivated me at first sight, or indeed at any number of sights. There is a charm of perfect naturalness about her that is irresistible. When she went out of the room, I felt quite lost, - [Page 98]  like to cry! - I said to Geraldine when she returned from seeing her off, "What an adorable woman!" Geraldine burst out laughing, and said her (Madame de Winton's) remark on me had been, "I could adore that woman!" - I might well tell Mr. Ross[1] when he spoke of his first "remarkably disagreeable" impression of myself: "of course, these things you know are always mutual!" I must see her again; tho', chi sa? [who knows?].

Thomas Erskine writes to me that poor Betty [Braid's] Son is dying, - her only Son! Another reason why I should make an effort to get to Scotland this Autumn. The sight of "her Bairn" might comfort her a little.

Mr. Knighton told us last night that when Sir Charles Napier was about going to India, a person was dispatched to his house late one evening to tell him it was of the greatest importance he should start soon. "When did he think he could be ready?" "Let me see," said Sir Charles, taking out his watch, "what time is it now? Well, I can be ready in half an hour. Will that do?" And he spoke in perfect good faith. The messenger smiled and told him he believed a fortnight hence was as soon as he was expected to go. What a capital man! It reminded me of my Father, who was just as prompt; nay, would probably have said, "in a quarter of an hour!"

16th May. - Remarkable for being the day of my second Oratorio! Oh, goodness me! how my sensibility to music must have diminished, or how my sense of "the fitness of things" must have increased, since my first Oratorio in Edinburgh old Parliament House! Jeptha's [Page 99]  Daughter, in the Parliament House, carried me away, away into the spheres! At the first crash of the Chorus, I recollect a sensation as of cold water poured down my back, which grew into a positive physical cramp! The Messiah at Exeter House, tho' perfectly got up, - "given" they call it, - left me calm and critical on my rather hard bench; and instead of imaginary cold water, I felt stifled by the real heat of the place! Geraldine said her sister, the "religious Miss Jewsbury," in contradistinction to Geraldine, - wouldn't let her go to the Messiah when a girl, because "people," she thought, "who really believed in their Saviour, would not go to hear singing about him." I am quite of the religious Miss Jewsbury's mind. Singing about him, with shakes and white gloves and all that sort of thing, quite shocked my religious feelings, - tho' I have no religion. Geraldine did a good deal of emotional weeping at my side; and it was all I could do to keep myself from shaking her and saying, "come out of that!" For my share, I was more in sympathy with the piper's cow:

"The cow considered wi' hersel' that music ne'er would fill her;
Gie me a lock of wheat straw, and sell yer wind for siller!"

Such a set of ugly creatures as the Chorus women I never did see! I grew so sorry for them, reflecting that each had a life of her own; that perhaps "somebody loved that pig"; that, if I had had any tears in me at the moment, I should have cried for them all packed there like herrings in a barrel, into one mass of sound! [Page 100] 

I am afraid it is a truth, what Madame Malhere the Milliner said of me to Geraldine: "Vraiment, votre ami[e] Madame Carlyle, est trop dif[f]icile!"[1]

17th May. - Kate Sterling's marriage-day, poor girl, and it has thundered, and it has hailed, and it has poured!

My most interesting occupation reading Palmer's Trial.[2]

18th May (Sunday). - Mme. de Winton came to lunch here by invitation. Mr. C. being to spend the day at Addiscombe, I had "taken the liberty" of inviting her. Perhaps I shall go this Summer to visit her at her castle in Wales. She has asked Geraldine and me for a long visit. Geraldine came with her and staid all day; and we had Mrs. Munro, Mr. Tait, Edward Sterling and George Cooke here all at once. Now there is not a sound in the house but the ticking of the clock: Ann out, and Mr. C. not to be home till to-morrow.

29th May. - Day of the celebration of the Peace. Nothing written here, then, since the 18th! And yet there has been "nothing particular to prevent me," only general debility and despair! only!

I went to Richmond one day, and caught a fresh cold which has made an inroad on the poor strength I had left; so that I have been, and still am, little up to "distracting myself" with walking and visiting. Old Mrs. Dermot said to me the other day, when I encountered her after two years: "Yes, Ma'am, my Daughter is dead; only Child, house and everything gone from me; and I assure you [Page 101]  I stand up in the world as if it wasn't the world at all any more!" I understand that odd expression so well!

Palmer is convicted after a horridly interesting Trial lasting twelve days. From first to last he has preserved the most wonderful coolness, forcing a certain admiration from one, murderer tho' he be![1] Mr. Barlow says "nine-tenths of the misery of human life proceeds, according to his observation, from the Institution of Marriage!" He should say from the demoralization, the desecration, of the Institution of Marriage, and then I should cordially agree with him.

Colonel Sterling is returned for good. May he be happy with his friends and they with him! For me, I am no longer his friend; and alas, for him, neither am I his enemy: I am simply and honestly indifferent to him.

Went, well muffled up in a cab, to Bath House to see the Fireworks; and saw them as well as they could be seen. But of all spectacles Fireworks are the most unsatisfactory to me; the uppermost feeling is always "what a waste!" of money, of time, of human ingenuity and labour, and of - means of destruction! The spectacle while it lasts, gratifies no sense but the eyesight; and then it is so transitory; and there remains of it Nothing! Francis Baring said, every rocket that went up, the only reflection [Page 102]  he made to himself was, "there goes half a crown!" Mr. Carlyle compared the Fireworks to "Parliamentary Eloquence." The thing that pleased me most in the whole business was a clear broad light that from time to time spread over the street underneath, and the swarm of people in it and the neighbouring buildings, and the demon-like little figures moving about in the Park, kindling the Fireworks. It was a thing to paint, if one had been a Cuyp.

30th May. - Too cold "for anything." Mrs. George (Welsh) here in the forenoon; and Mr. Gaskell later. Dr. Carlyle presented himself at tea-time. - A most useless tiresome day.

31st May. - Countess Pepoli came at twelve, "with a fly" and her Sister's footman to boot; and invited me to a drive about the streets. I went and waited at various shop-doors while she did her shoping.

1st June (Sunday). - Mr. A----- staid a long while telling me all about himself. But that is a sort of thing I am getting used to, and which every woman must get used to, I suppose, when she has become elderly decidedly. When I was young and charming, men asked me about myself, and listened with interest real or pretended to whatever I pleased to tell them. Now they compensate to themselves for the want of charm in my company by using me up as a listener to their egotism. A woman who will accept and exploit that rôle may still exercise an influence, - of a sort. And if she cannot do without influence with men, she had better accept it. For myself I think the game isn't worth the candle. At least, that [Page 103]  is my profound belief to-night after my dose of Mr. A-----'s early difficulties with an unpoetical Father and an ill-tempered Step-mother, and an unsympathising public.

The man whom everybody calls "George Cooke" came as Mr. A----- went; and he, to do him justice, talked very pleasantly on "things in general"; but then, it was only his second visit, and he had still to make his place good. He staid two hours and a half! not busy it would seem! -

6th June. - Lunched at Darwin's, who drove me to call at Mrs. Rennie's and Lady Broke's.[1]

18th June. - Another break! On the 7th we went to Addiscombe and staid till the 11th. The place in full bloom and her Ladyship affable. Why? What is in the wind now? As usual at that beautiful place, I couldn't sleep.

Last Sunday George Rennie called. We talked about prayer (the "impertinence" of it according to George); about Palmer, finally "launched into eternity," as the phrase is; and about the prospects of War with America! Nice topics for dear friends meeting after a dozen years!

This morning (the 18th) I got up with a determination to "make an effort," at least; and achieved a short walk before breakfast. Sorted about in drawers and presses. I am like the old Manchester woman who "could never [Page 104]  kneel down comfortable to say her prayers till she had swept the floor and whitened the hearth, and given herself a good wash." The first thing with me always, when I take a notion of living a more purpose-like life, is to make a general redding up of my drawers and presses, etc.!

Dined at the Pepolis', - a Mr. Hughes and Mr. Fergus the only company.

19th June. - Baked, - with interruptions. First dear little diamond-eyed Mrs. Twisleton came to say good-bye for the season. Then Mr. Barlow. Both these said beautiful things to me - things equally "flattering to my head and hort"; but no flatteries stick just now. It is as much as I can do to let alone answering like Mr. C.'s Father, short and grim, "I don't believe thee!"[1]

Dined at old Mr. Richardson's, - a pleasant Party as Parties go. The Milmans, Aldersons, Lord Minto (eyes much too close), Dr. Lushington, and a good many intelligent-looking men dropt in after dinner; besides Mary Stanley of Crimean notoriety (a very considerable of a goose, I think); and a Miss Lushington, whom I asked, "who is that old gentleman who talks in such pathetical tones, they call him Judge of the Ecclesiastical Court; but what is his name?" "Oh, that is my Father!" Ah!

20th June. - A thunder-showery day. Did some trifle of needlework; and finished Laporte's "Memoirs of his Valetship." A short walk with Geraldine. A call from Darwin. - Oh, I had nearly forgotten the one bit of amiability I have done for weeks: I wrote a little complimentary Letter to Miss Kelty, the unseen old governess who [Page 105]  sends me from time to time a little Book "all out of her own head." Poor lonely old soul! This time she has burst out into Poems! "Waters of Comfort," so called. For the "Comfort" it may be strongly doubted; tho' nobody can deny the "Water." But the fact of a lonely old Ex-governess pouring herself out in Waters even only meant to be "of Comfort," at an age when most of us harden into flint, or crumble into dry dust, is of itself beautiful and touching. And I wrote to tell her this, as I know she is very sensible to sympathy.

21st June. - The Countess (Pepoli) made me a very morning call, and a very kind one. She is a true-hearted woman, Elizabeth Pepoli, and I am very wrong not to cultivate her more.

As she took her departure a message came that "Miss Jewsbury and the Bishop were waiting for me." Oh, my stars! how boring is this intrigue with nothing in it of anything that constitutes an intrigue but the mystery! boring and ridiculous! If Mr. C. had let the poor old ugly man come here in peace,[1] I might have sewed while he staid, or otherwise enlivened our talk. We went all three for what the people here call "a ride on the water in a steamboat." Landing at Paul's Wharf, we were caught in the rain, and I returned by myself in the cabin of the next boat, - preferring being stifled to being soaked, under the circumstances. Dished for the rest of the day.

22nd June (Sunday). - Saffi, George Rennie and his [Page 106]  Son, Geraldine, George Cooke and Edward Sterling in the forenoon. Dr. Carlyle, W. Allingham, Tom Taylor and his Wife, and Geraldine (again) in the evening. If that isn't society enough for one day!

To-day is the first time I have felt natural with George Rennie; the presence of Geraldine helped to give me possession of my present self. He looked at me once as if he were thinking I talked rather well. In the old times, we never thought about how one another talked nor about how oneself talked! One had things to say, and said them, just.

23rd June. - Did a little mending. Called at Bath House; Ladyship "gone in the carriage to Addiscombe." Called at Grosvenor Street; Ladyship "gone in the carriage to Norwood." Came thro' Wardour Street and flung away eighteen shillings on a piece of nonsense! Mr. Barlow left me a pretty German Bible in my absence. Miss Farrar told Geraldine to-day that whenever she mentioned my name to the Colonel [Sterling], his exclamation was, "If she would only leave me in peace! I desire nothing but that she would leave me in peace!" Can there be a phantom of me haunting the poor man? For as for my living self, I have left him in the most unmitigated peace these three months! Taken no more notice of him than if he were dead and buried! He has dropt into the place in my mind appropriated to "shot rubbish"; and may lie quite undisturbed there for any chance there is of my raking him up![1] -

[Image fp106: Facsimile: JWC Journal]

[Image fp106: Facsimile: "Sartor Resartus" Inscription]

[Page 107] 

24th June. - At Kensington Palace to see the old German Picture. Mr. and Mrs. Barlow had assembled quite a Party. We had tea after, some of us, in Mr. Barlow's apartments. Mrs. Grove, whom I there met for the first time, drove Geraldine and me home. At night Mr. C. and I went to a small very Family Party at Lady Charlotte Portal's. I like that Lady better than any aristocratic young lady I have yet seen. She has a sort of look of what I remember of my Mother in my childhood; complexion like a rose-leaf; but her eyes are poor in comparison with my Mother's. She is a decidedly human woman. She said, "I can't speak to Lady Q.; it isn't that I am afraid of her cleverness. I have known cleverer people that did not produce that impression on me; but if I were merely wishing to say to her, 'I have enjoyed my visit,' or, 'thank you for your kindness,' it would stick in my throat."

27th June. - Went with Geraldine to Hampstead, preferring to be broiled on a Heath to being broiled in Cheyne Row. Dinner at The Spaniards, and came home to tea, dead weary and a good many shillings out of pocket.

28th June. - Dined at Lord Goderich's with Sir Colin Campbell, whom I hadn't seen for some fifteen years. He is not much of a hero that. In fact heroes are very scarce.

29th June (Sunday). - Nobody but Geraldine this afternoon. In the evening I was surprised by the apparition of Mrs. Newton, just arrived from the East. Nobody need complain now that she looks "too handsome and lady-like" for her calling. She is as like a "monthly [Page 108]  nurse" as if she had been born and bred to it! Stout, coarse, active-looking, and with an eye that struck fire when speaking of her "enemies."

30th June. - Lunched with Miss Williams Wynn; and then to Stokes to get a tooth filled. He spoke to me of Mrs. T.'s marriage, on which Annie Farrar had been strangely communicative to him. I expressed my disgust at selling oneself so cheap. "Ah, yes, Mrs. Carlyle," said the Dentist, "but you are a lady of such exquisite feeling!" At the moment, he was probing the nerve of my tooth! I wanted to say, "Oh, yes; my feeling is exquisite enough just now indeed!" And my mouth was gagged with his fingers!

1st July. - Went in an omnibus to Coutts's Bank to pay my rent. Returned on foot, stopping in Pall Mall to pay the Fire Insurance. "How provoking it is," I said to the man, "to be paying all this money every year, when one never has anything burnt." "Well, Ma'am," said the man, "you can set fire to your house, and see how you like it!"

Called at Mrs. Farrar's and heard a good deal of insincere speech, - about the Colonel (Sterling), etc.

At two Parties this evening.

4th July. - Called for Mrs. Montagu, who is "breaking up" they say; but her figure is erect and her bearing indomitable as ever, - "the noble lady" to the last! Browning came while I was there, and dropt on one knee and kissed her hand, with a fervour! And I have heard Browning speak slightingly of Mrs. Montagu. To my mind Browning is a considerable of a "fluff of feathers," [Page 109]  in spite of his cleverness, which is undeniable. He kissed my hand too with a fervour; and I wouldn't give sixpence for his regard for me. Heigho, what a world of vain show one walks in! How cold and hard I get to feel in it! Sir Colin Campbell came in the evening; and even he, great Crimean hero, left me cold. "Simple" they call him. I don't believe it. He is full of soft souder as an egg is full of meat!

5th July. - Spent the forenoon reading in Battersea Fields. In the evening alone, as usual; a very sick and sad day with me, like many that have gone before, and many that will come after, if I live to the age that the Prophetess foretold for me, seventy-two.

Mrs Carlyle's Note-Book.

The following is a selection of passages from a little Note-book kept by Mrs. Carlyle, during her residence in London, for jotting down addresses, phrases, witty sayings, excerpts from books she was reading, and memorabilia of various kinds.

It is better living on a little than out-living a great deal.

To endeavour all one's days to fortify our minds with learning and philosophy, is to spend so much on armour that one has nothing left to defend.

The worst of crosses is never to have had any.

Woe to the house where there is no chiding.

If the brain sows not corn it plants thistles.

God help the rich, the poor can beg.

The Devil tempts others; an idle man tempts the Devil. [Page 110] 

He who will stop every man's mouth must have a great deal of meal.

When Orpheus went down to the regions below,
Which men are forbidden to see,
He tuned up his lyre, as old Histories shew,
To set his Eurydice free.

All Hell stood amazed; that a mortal so wise
Should rashly endanger his life,
And venture so far; but how vast their surprise,
When they found that he came for his Wife.

To find out a punishment due to his fault
Old Pluto long puzzled his brain,
But Hell had no torment sufficient, he thought,
So he gave him his Wife back again.

But pity returning soon melted his heart,
And pleased at his playing so well,
He took back his Wife in reward of his Art, -
Such charms has music in Hell!

Hunting happiness is like chasing sparrows to lay salt on their tails.

Ears are given to men as to pitchers that they may be carried about by them.

No, never confirmed; but I have been vaccinated.

Did you understand the sermon? Wad I hae the presumption! answered the old Scotchwoman.

A labourer's enjoyment at Church: "I sits me down, and lays my legs up, and thinks o' nothing."

Paddy's rule: Keep never minding.

He that hath friends has no friend. [Page 111] 

I trust to no Creed but the Compass, and I do unto every man as I would be done by.

I scorched my intellect into a cinder of stolidity.

No. 4 says, "That her only comfort is in knowing of three or four young women who are in worse affliction than even hers."

Our Deptford Housemaid said: "One thing the English are admirable for: they shew great respect for their dead, as long as they have them, at least. I mean in the way of burying them. They really do them neat! even poor folks. And I think there is nothing nicer than to see people neatly buried!"

"And I can assure you, mem, she got justice done her; no cost was spared; he buried her beautiful!"

Helen Mitchell (Servant): "I would rather live single all my life than be married to a saft taty (Anglice, soft potato), as sae mony men are, and women, too, - nothing in the worl' in them but what the spoon puts in!"

Helen, again: "And for a Letter-writer, there was nobody like her; her Letters were so beautifully worded that one wondered how human hand could have done it! they might just have been copied!"

Curious distinctions. I: "Are you better this morning, Helen?" Helen: "Oh, yes; that is, my head's better, but I'm awfully ill mysel'!"

One may see day at a little hole.

It's a sin to belie the Devil.

Tell me with whom thou goest, and I'll tell thee what thou doest.

He cannot say shoo to a goose. [Page 112] 

As lazy as Ludlam's dog that leaned his head against a wall to bark.

As busy as a hen with one chicken.

A man hath no more goods than he gets good of.

"We are neither Christian nor heathen; I and my comrades have no faith but in ourselves, our strength and the luck of victory; and with this faith we slip through sufficiently well."

One Paisley weaver to another, on looking round him on the top of Ben Lomond: "Eh, Geordie man, the works o' Natur is deevilish!"

Breaker of the Portland Vase to the Judge: "Whatever punishment is inflicted on me, I shall have the consolation of feeling that it has been richly deserved."

Helen on the Letter-opening question: "They're surely no sae particular now as they used to be; it is a most awfully debauched thing to open Letters."

"As late I came thro' Lewis' woods
A Possum passed me by;
He curled his tail and feared the Lord,
But how he girn'd at I!"

"Do you remember any instance in the Bible of a beast having spoken?" "Yes; Jonah said unto the whale, 'thou art the man'!" "Oh, no, - it was the whale said unto Jonah, 'almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.'"

"I assure you I sometimes think that had I the wings of a dove, I would spread them and fly away to some place where I should get leave to eat like a Christian!" (Poor Mrs. -----, while on diet; actually said. - T. C.) [Page 113] 

"Aye, aye, it's weel to be seen that the black coo never stampit on her foot yet."

"At the marriage of Abdallah and Anima (Mahomet's parents), two hundred virgins of the tribe of Koreish died of broken hearts."

Helen: "I am sure it must have been quite a treat to the flannels to get one day of drought."

"Horrible to have one's cat come home with one's neighbour's parrot in its mouth!"

Englishman and Lablache (the gigantic Opera-singer). Englishman: "Beg pardon, Monsieur, I thought Tom Thumb lived here" (had been hoaxed to call there for Tom). "Oui, Monsieur, c'est moi." "Vous, Monsieur? Non: Tom Thumb be a very small man." "Que voulez-vous, Monsieur? Quand on est chez soi on ne se gêne pas!"

"Politics have made a great change on Mr. Disraeli; formerly he used to take much pleasure in the society of virtuous females, and now he talks to nobody but me." (Reported saying of Mrs. Dizzy. - T. C.)

All sensible men that I have ever heard of take their meals with their wives, and then retire to their own rooms to read, write, or do what they have to do, or what best pleases them. If a man is a foxhunter, he goes and talks with his huntsmen or grooms, and very good company they are; if he is a tradesman, he goes into his shop; if a Doctor, to his patients; but nobody is such a fool as to morder away his time in the slip-slop conversation of a pack of women.

"It's no an easy thing, mem, to go through the world without a head" (i. e. husband). [Page 114] 

"Before other people, never flatter your wife, nor slight her." - Cardan.

"A woman left by herself, thinks; too much caressed, suspects; therefore take heed." - (The same.)

"Deeds are masculine, and words are feminine. Letters are of the neuter gender."

"If you hate a man, though only in secret, never trust him, because hate is hardly to be hidden."

"Delay is the handle to denial."

"I was going to have been scarce of fodder when by great good luck one of my cows died." - James Yorstoun. (Revd. of Hoddam; excellent chess-player, excellent, simple and ingenious man. - T. C.)

Butcher: "Is it an old cow?" Mr. Yorstoun: "Yes, Sir, the cow is old, very old."

"I see na how he could insult thy Wullie sae lang as he keepit his hands off him." (Mr. C.'s Father.)

"Bad luck to the day that I bore ye, and I wish that I had never rared ye! Ye'er little like Katie MacGrah's son that came home wid the time o' day [a watch] in his pocket!" (Dumfries Irishwoman to her son, on his returning from an unsuccessful tramp in England. - T. C.)

"Him never will return again to we,
But us will surely sometime go to he!"

"Here lies the body of Martha Glyn
Who was so very pure within
She quite broke thro' the egg of sin,
And hatched herself a Cherubim!"

What fabric of lady's wear describes Lord Palmerston's [Page 115]  Parties? Ans. - Muslin de lain (Muzzling Delane, Editor of the Times).

When does a man really ill-use his wife? Ans. - When he plays the Dickens with her.

What is the shortest way of fattening a lean baby? Ans. - Throw it out of an up-stairs window, and it will come down plump.

Alexander M'Craw, who maintained that punctuality was the thief of time, as procrastination was the soul of business.


To Mrs. Russell, Thornhill.

Auchtertool Manse, Kirkcaldy,
Wednesday, '30 July, 1856.'

My dearest Mrs. Russell - I am quite sure of being in Scotland now; for lo, and behold! I am here at Auchtertool! And if ever a poor woman was thankful to see her own Land and her own people again, after long and weary exile, it is I!

We left London, as I predicted we should, "quite promiscuously" at the last. Lady Ashburton was going to her Highland Shooting-quarters, and engaged the great big Railway-carriage called "the Queen's Saloon" to take her to Edinburgh. So having lots of room to spare, she offered one day to carry both Mr. C. and me along with her free of all trouble and expense; and the offer was both too kind and too convenient to be refused. Only we had "terribly" short time for packing and preparing. [Page 116] 

We staid over night at a hotel [in Edinburgh] with the Ashburtons; and then they went north, and I came over the water to Auchtertool, - Mr. C. accompanying me, for a twenty-four hours' stay.

Oh, mercy! into what freshness and cleanness and kindness I have plumped here! out of the smoulder and din and artificiality of London! It has been like plumping down into a bed of rose-leaves with the dew on them! My Cousins are so kind! and the only thought that comes to spoil my enjoyment is, that I must go back to London some time, - cannot get staid here forever!

This Note is only to tell you I am in Scotland, dear Mrs. Russell, - not to tell you when I shall be at Thornhill, according to your kind invitation which came so opportunely when I first thought of coming north. They expect me to make a long visit here, and I am so glad to rest quietly awhile to recover from the fatigues, not of my journey,[1] which were inconsiderable, but of the London [Page 117]  Summer. Then I have to visit the dear old Miss Donaldsons at Haddington; and finish all off I have to do and see in and about Edinburgh, before going into Dumfriesshire, as I shall return to London by the Carlisle Road.

Oh, my Dear, my courage fails me when I think of finding myself at Thornhill - at Crawford - but I will make myself go; and once there I shall be glad I did not reject a pleasure (tho' a sad one) for fear of the pain accompanying it. And it will be good to think of after.

Are you going from home anywhere? for I could, of course, arrange my movements otherwise, if it did not suit you to receive me for a few days some three or four or five weeks hence, and would suit you better sooner. ... [Page 118]  I was very poorly indeed, when I left home; but I am quite another creature on the top of this Hill, with the sharp Fife breezes about me. Kindest regards to your Husband and Father.

Ever, dear Mrs. Russell, Yours affectionately



To T. Carlyle, The Gill, Annan

Auchtertool, Saturday, 30 Aug., 1856.

As I wrote a long Letter yesterday, and am still full of coughing and sneezing, and up to little, this is merely a line to clear your program from any tagragery of uncertainties[1] depending on me.

If I get well enough for it, I shall go to Miss Jessie[2] for two or at most three days this incoming week; and next week set out on my other visits: a day or two at my Aunts' again, in passing thro' Edinburgh (that I engaged for chiefly on Betty's account): then to Jeannie (Mrs. Crystal) at Glasgow: then to Mrs. Russell at Thornhill; then to Scotsbrig; and then south, either with you, or alone, as is found most suitable.

Yours always,      J. W. C.

[Page 119] 


To Major Davidson, Edinburgh.

Auchtertool Manse, Kirkcaldy,
1 September, 1856.

My dear Major Davidson - I had not forgotten my promise to tell you when I came to Scotland. ... But on my first coming I did not know your actual address, nor could dear Betty tell me, tho' she spoke about you till your ear might have tingled (the right one)! So I waited till I should see your Sister at Haddington, whither I was bound. Though I was there ten days, being kissed and cried over by my dear old Ladies at Sunny Bank, and crying myself pretty continuously out of sheer gratitude to everybody for being so good to me, I did not see Mrs. Cook. ... We return to London at the end of the present month, and I have six visits to pay still, among relations and old friends, chiefly in Dumfriesshire, whence I proceed to London via Carlisle without returning to Edinburgh; but when I leave this place, in the middle of next week, I could go to you for two or three days, if your Wife were really well enough and good enough to receive me. Write with perfect frankness, Would that suit? Mr. Carlyle has been with his own Family in Annandale all this while, and is just now starting off on a visit to some London friends near Dingwall. Perhaps he will sail to London; at all events he will not rejoin me till we are starting for home. But I am not unaccompanied: I have with me, bound for Chelsea, two - Canaries, bred at Haddington, and adopted for its old dear sake! and you [Page 120]  will have to extend your hospitality to these blessed birds to the extent of furnishing them with a nail to hang on out of reach of any possible cat or dog.

Yours affectionately,



To T. Carlyle, Post-office, Edinburgh.

Kirkcaldy, 5 September, 1856.

Oh, my! There's a kid! Well, I never!

I had appointed with Miss Jessie to be sent for to-day; and was all ready to start on the visit, when behold your Letter! But for the appointment made, and the carriage under way, and my portmanteau in the hall, I should have awaited you at Auchtertool, - the party there being considerably reduced; and Miss Jessie's dispositions "to be strongly doubted." That, however, was not to be thought of now. So here I am just arrived, and unpacked in what Miss Jessie calls "a sweet little room." The littleness I perceive plainly, but not the sweetness. ... So you may descend from your carrozza in all confidence that we will be near at hand. You can either go on the same evening, or stay till Monday as you like, - once here, you are sure of a welcome. And you and I might go out to Auchtertool on Sunday. Settle it as is most agreeable to yourself, as you come across.

My cold is still hanging about me, and making me wretched; this move was a desperate attempt at carrying it off by "change of air."

Yours,      J. W. C.



[Page 3]

[1] A foolish, fluffy Dane, one Brandes, - from whom I had some lessons, - was narrating something to her, about somebody's history, How "he went to India Ma'am, and good luck followed him to the East," but smothered it into "Gootlock followed him to the Orient!" which was not forgotten for a long time here ! - T. C.

To this phrase Mr. Froude gives an explanation of his own, wholly original and "significant of much." Mrs. Carlyle, writing from Haddington to her Husband, says, "It seems a month since we parted at Dundee ... Gootlock did not follow me into the Orient by any means. A headache followed me, and stuck by me till the Monday that I left Kirkcaldy." (Letters and Memorials ii. 76.) Whereupon Mr. Froude notes, "Haddington is east. Mrs. Carlyle had returned thither to stay with the Donaldsons. Mrs. Carlyle, of course, is speaking of her journey from Dundee to Kirkcaldy, which is s. s. west rather than east, and Haddington had nothing to do with it; she merely repeats a bit of coterie speech, and is not solemnly giving Carlyle a lesson in the geography of Scotland!

[Page 4]

[1] Charlotte Brontë.

[Page 6]

[1] Murderess Manning. - T. C.

[2] Dog, "Nero."

[Page 8]

[1]An Article by Carlyle advocating the planting of Trees in Ireland. It was published by Sir C. G. Duffy in the Nation, November, 1849; and again in his excellent little Book, "Conversations with Carlyle," 1892.

[Page 12]

[1] Miss Jewsbury says that Mrs. Carlyle was dux in Algebra at the Haddington School; and Mr. Froude, going one better than his Egeria, states that she was dux in Mathematics!

[Page 13]

[1] George Darley. - T. C.

[Page 14]

[1] Carlyle says, in the Reminiscences, that when the Latter-Day Pamphlets began to appear, "Forster soon fell away, I could perceive, into terror and surprise; - as indeed everybody did."

[Page 17]

[1] A quotation from "Craw Jean's" (Mrs. Aitken's) Child-Poem.

[Page 18]

[1] Housecleaning.

[Page 20]

[1] On the 9th Carlyle replied (avoiding his Wife's rather ticklish question as to whether her conversation with Lady Harriet constituted a promise to go, or not), "Nor can I advise you any way certainly as to accepting the Grange invitation, - except in so far as this consideration will go, that you should follow your own authentic wish in regard to it. As to me, I do not think there is any sure chance of my being at Chelsea before the '23d' (I am much better here so long as it will do otherwise): and if I were, my 'wishes' would not point to travelling thither. ... So do thy own way, Goody, - what more can I counsel? If the visit is not disagreeable, perhaps a ten days or week of it might stir you up and do you good. Consider it, thy own self; and do what seems best." Mrs. Carlyle, following her own authentic wish, went to the Grange, and staid a month.

[Page 22]

[1] Carlyle's Father, being occasionally requested by his Wife, to quell their children indulging too noisily in pillow-fights, etc., after retiring to bed, would make only a pretence of whipping them, bringing down his heavy hand with noise and din enough, but always taking care that there was a sufficiency of bed-clothes between it and the objects of his apparent wrath. This satisfied the Mother; and the children out of gratitude for their Father's kindheartedness, remained quiet, - for a while. Carlyle often referred to this kindly trait in his Father's character.

[2] The new servant, - Elizabeth having left.

[Page 23]

[1] Referring to Carlyle's frequent use of such expletives as "ay de mi, eheu," etc., both in speaking and writing. His habitual use of these phrases has led many to believe that he must necessarily have been, every time he employed them, in the depths of despair and utter misery! My own observation, during the three years I lived beside him, taught me that these ejaculations were not wailing cries de profundis, but merely the repetition of words and phrases which had struck his fancy. The most trifling cause imaginable would call them forth. So far as speaking was concerned, they were generally accompanied by a humourous smile expressive of anything but sorrow or despair. It was an unfortunate "trick," for it has led some, who ought to have known better, to speak of Carlyle as "moody, agonised and melancholy." It will be a surprise to many to find that Mrs. Carlyle also says of her Husband, "He has so much more hope in him about everything than I have!" And then she adds, not without reason, 'Who would believe that to hear how he talks?" (See Letter 232)

[Page 24]

[1] At the Grange.

[Page 28]

[1] The Carlyles had spent the month of August at Malvern as the guests of Dr. Gully.

[Page 31]

[1] Lord Stanley's residence at Congleton, Cheshire.

[Page 33]

[1] Italian exiles.

[2] Letitia E. Landon.

[Page 34]

[1] From "Heaven" to "best," is printed in Life, iv., 87. Mr. Froude introduces the extract thus: "Lady Ashburton invited Mrs. Carlyle to spend December with her at the Grange, to help in amusing some visitors [sic]. She did not wish to go, and yet hardly dared say no. She consulted John Carlyle."

To show the absurdity of this it is only needful to mention that in October Lady Ashburton, on returning from the Continent, invited Mrs. Carlyle to the Grange. Mrs. Carlyle had just returned home after an absence of two months; and preferred not to leave Chelsea again just then. The invitation was therefore declined.

A little after this, Lady Ashburton fell ill, as appears from her Letters. When she recovered she renewed the invitation, adding, out of kindness and true politeness, that Mrs. Carlyle could be of use in helping to "amuse Mama."

This is the invitation which Mrs. Carlyle mentions incidentally to Dr. Carlyle. It is not true that she "consulted" him as to whether she should accept it or not. She neither expected nor received advice from him. She accepted the invitation because it suited her to do so; and went to the Grange on the 1st of December, by herself, leaving Carlyle alone, working at home. She induced him to come and join her on the 13th of December; detained him there longer than he wished to stay; and returned on the 2nd of January, much improved in health.

Why then did she write to Dr. Carlyle of the invitation as if it were unwelcome? The explanation is simple: she knew that Dr. Carlyle felt a little hurt because he had never received any invitation from the Ashburtons; she, therefore, in writing to him, very naturally refers to her own invitation as a thing of little or no account.

Mrs. Carlyle was probably, by nature and by education, almost the least likely person in the world to submit meekly to coercion and oppression. She would have resented and scorned Mr. Froude's calumnious statement that she "submitted" to an injustice, - relinquished meekly without a protest her "rights of woman," and became the puppet of an imperious Lady's will! No! She was proud and imperious herself; and had a will of [Page 35]  her own as unyielding as steel. She boasts of "being very obstinate in her own way"; of "having a genius for not being ruled"; and even of "being very unadvisable." Having declined one invitation from Lady Ashburton, what in the name of common sense was to hinder her from declining another if she had really wished to decline?

[Page 35]

[1] From a visit of over a month to the Grange.

[Page 36]

[1] "About the middle of July, Jane sent me off to Scotland, to be out of the way." (From a Letter of Carlyle's to his Brother Alexander, 6 Jan'y, 1853.)

[Page 39]

[1] See Carlyle's "Letters, 1826-36," ii., 306n.

[Page 40]

[1] That is Mrs. Macready.

[Page 45]

[1] Written at Mrs. C.'s suggestion, introducing Mrs. S. to a Publisher.

[2] Mrs. Carlyle is generally claimed as an advocate against marriage. This is a mistake: it was only imprudent marriages she disapproved.

[Page 46]

[1] Dr. Carlyle had described his "intended" as like Mrs. Newton.

[Page 53]

[1] A young lady, once weeping on my shoulder over the loss of her lover, and ah! her honour, suddenly gathered herself up and exclaimed wildly, "But, Oh! Mrs. Carlyle, I do, I do believe in the Progress of the Species!" "Why not?" returned I, "I for my part believe in the Devil; and find great comfort from it occasionally. With a Devil to lay the blame on, one feels so irresponsible!"

[Page 57]

[1] A young preacher once staying over night at a great House, was asked to "conduct worship," as the phrase is. He went to work with aplomb enough, and proceeded without accident, swimmingly even, till all the usual things were prayed for, and it came to winding up. But how to wind up to his own and his audience's satisfaction? There lay the difficulty! He went "about it and about it" grew hotter and hotter, more and more bothered, till his head had become a perfect chaos. And figure the consternation in heaven as on earth, when he ended "quite promiscuously," with, "I add no more, but remain, my dear sir, your obedient Servant!"

This is a literal fact. (Yes. - T. C.) I have seen the man it happened to. - J. W. C.

[Page 58]

[1] Meaning the anniversary of her Mother's death, which took place on the 25th of February.

[Page 59]

[1] Anthony Sterling, now Captain; after the Crimean War, Colonel.

[2] The one now at Cheyne Row? See ante, p. 258.

[3] Most likely this great House was Alderley Park, Lord Stanley's residence, near Congleton.

[Page 60]

[1] On repairs to the house.

[Page 64]

[1] Dr. Carlyle's Wife.

[Page 65]

[1] In London.

[Page 66]

[1] John Jeffrey's phrase.

[2] Her Cousin Alick Welsh's.

[Page 67]

[1] Building the "sound-proof" study on the roof.

[Page 70]

[1] Thornhill, where Mrs. Carlyle had not been since the year before her Mother's death.

[Page 73]

[1] Her Cousin Alick's at Liverpool.

[Page 74]

[1] Richard W. Jelf, D.D.

[Page 75]

[1] Mrs. Carlyle had seen but little of Mrs. Montagu (the "Noble Lady") for many years now. The reason may be inferred from the following passage omitted by Mr. Froude from Letter 2 (Letters and Memorials, i. 11), which Carlyle dates Nov., 1834:

"Mrs. Montagu has quite given us up, but we still find it possible to carry on existence. I offended her by taking in Bessy Barnet in the teeth of her vehement admonitions; and now I suppose she is again offended that I should receive a discharged servant of her Daughter-in-law's. I am sorry she should be so whimsical; for, as she was my first friend in London, I continue to feel a sort of tenderness for her in spite of many faults which cleave to her. But her society can quite readily be dispensed with, nevertheless. We have new acquaintances always turning up, and a pretty handsome stock of old ones." - "Bessy Barnet" who was the Carlyles' servant for a few months, afterwards became the Wife of Dr. Blakiston, and, with her Husband, was very kind and helpful to Mrs. Carlyle in her serious illness in the early part of 1864.

[Page 79]

[1] Carlyle is now visiting Edward FitzGerald, translator of Omar, etc., etc.

[2] A little gift from Carlyle.

[Page 82]

[1] Addiscombe, in the absence of its owners, being placed at the service of Carlyle and his Wife, both went thither on the 30th of August. But Mrs. Carlyle found the place dull and tiresome in the absence of Lady Ashburton and other lively and entertaining company; and, sleeping badly, she generally went home for the night, returning from time to time to see that all went well with her Husband.

Carlyle gives an account of this expedition to Addiscombe and of their manner of life there, in a Letter of 5th September, addressed to Mrs. Aitken: "I think I told you it was on Thursday evening of last week that we came out hither; Jane by Rail, I riding. ... We arrived within few minutes of each other; got fire raised, lights kindled, excellent tea made; and the business fairly started. Jane had several arrangements and negotiations next day, - idle truck of Housemaids, etc., 'unable altogether to cook,' - but she settled it all with her customary glegness [cleverness]; and seeing the thing now fairly in motion, went off home again on the Sunday morning, preferring Chelsea with its resources of company and the like to these vacant solitudes; indeed, she had slept very ill, poor soul; and could hardly get any right sleep here at all, in spite of the dead silence. She has been out again to see how my affairs were going on; staid only a night; will return when my provisions threaten to run low, and procure more, - probably about Monday next. Poor little soul! She has a heavyish burden too, in this world, but struggles along with wonderful toughness, and does not in general make complaint about it."

[Page 83]

[1] Forster's servant.

[Page 85]

I, Johnny Peep, saw three sheep,
And then three sheep saw me, etc.

[Page 86]

[1] Mrs. Pringle's residence, near Thornhill, Dumfries.

[Page 89]

[1] Repeatedly spoke of this, - with such humour and ingenuous grace; descriptive, too, as a mirror! - T. C.

[2] Erskine of Linlathen. - T. C.

The cat's a' loosie,
The dog's i' the well;
And Dad's away to Edinbro'
To buy the Bairn a bell!"

Nurse takes a small splint or quill of half-burnt wood from the [Page 90]  fire, whirls it about, so that the red end of it makes circles or meandering ribbons (all of fire, to the child's eye), singing or crooning as above. No finer metaphor in the world to signify an aimless, restless, uselessly busy person! - T. C.

[Page 90]

[1] This was the "Crimean (Board of Officers) Inquiry Committee," held at Chelsea Hospital.

[2] The Lawyer at Dumfries who managed the Craigenputtock business.

[Page 91]

[1] Mrs. Carlyle herself was clearly not averse to going to Bath House any more than "Mr. C." During the few weeks covered by this part of her Journal, she was there, according to her own shewing, no less than four times; besides a visit of four or five days' duration to Addiscombe. And the last entry in the early section of her Journal reads as follows:

14th April, 1856. - Lay on the sofa most of the day feeling "too ill for anything." Nevertheless, towards seven o'clock, took myself up-stairs and dressed myself very fine, and was driven to Bath House to a dinner-party. The Twisletons, Milnes, "the Bear" [Ellice], Goldwin Smith and Delane. Came home with virtue's own reward in the shape of a sore throat. My throat fairly made sore by telling Lord Ashburton French Criminal Trials, all the evening, out of a Book he hadn't seen. He was so unwell! And since he was there, instead of where he should have been, viz., in his bed, I "felt it my duty" to amuse him without letting him talk.

[2] Sterling.

[3] Because Carlyle walked Mr. Neuberg out, it does not follow that he was tired of him. On the contrary, it goes to show that he enjoyed his company and thought him a sufficiently entertaining companion to walk with. For Carlyle's more charitable and just account of his friendship with Mr. Neuberg, see Reminiscences, i. 191n.

[Page 92]

[1] Irving was not at the Angel. Carlyle and Dr. Carlyle met her there; and she saw Irving in the evening. (See ante, Letter 12.)

[Page 93]

[1] Pepoli, once Elizabeth Fergus of Kirkcaldy.

[Page 94]

[1] This George Rennie, a younger Nephew of the Engineer John Rennie, had been among the number of Miss Welsh's lovers. See Reminiscences, i. 70.

[2] Mrs. Welsh's little dog at Haddington, often mentioned in Carlyle's Early Letters, etc.

[3] See Letters and Memorials, ii. 271.

[Page 95]

[1] James and Thomas Spedding.

[Page 98]

[1] Kate Sterling's fiancé and future Husband.

[Page 100]

[1] Truly, your friend Mrs. Carlyle is too hard to please.

[2] Wife poisoner. - T. C. .

[Page 101]

[1] From this point to the end of the paragraph, is printed in Letters and Memorials, ii., 273. It forms a good example of how unfair and misleading it often is to quote a passage without its context. For, standing by itself, the extract will convey to the reader the impression that Mrs. Carlyle is referring to her own experience of Marriage; but the context clearly shows that she and Mr. Barlow are discussing the Institution of Marriage with reference to Palmer, who had just been found guilty of poisoning his Wife to secure possession of her life-insurance policy!

[Page 103]

[1] Don't know her. - T. C. In the entry for Oct. 31, Mrs. Carlyle says that she had had an invitation from this Lady; and adds, "I had to write a refusal however. Mr. C. is 'neither to hold nor bind' when I make new acquaintances on my own basis, however unexceptionable the person may be; and there were other reasons 'which it may be interesting not to state.'" Mr. Froude prints part of the sentence, but omits all about the "other reasons."

[Page 104]

[1] See Reminiscences, i. 8.

[Page 105]

[1] Alas, I didn't hinder him to come; but he was (and still is) unbeautiful to me considerably, in body and mind! Is in paralysis or semi-paralysis now (1866), after re-marrying (rich, rather questionable widow of three Husbands), which sank him here, without aid of mine. - T. C.

[Page 106]

[1] Continued so to the end; a very abstruse, abrupt sort of man; worthy at heart, but not without snobbisms, etc.; had given some offence or other, which proved final. John Sterling's Brother; grown very rich and fat. - T. C.

[Page 116]

[1] Mr. Froude (Life, iv., 181) makes a most doleful and harrowing story of Mrs. Carlyle's hardships and ill-usage on this journey to Scotland. He even charges Lady Ashburton with want of etiquette in allowing Mrs. Carlyle to ride in the compartment off the Saloon along with Carlyle and the Family Doctor! But Mr. Froude admits that possibly Mrs. Carlyle "chose to have it so." If this was the case (and it is more than likely that it was, considering Mrs. Carlyle's well-known preference for gentlemen's society), then what need was there for commiserating her sad case and blaming Lady Ashburton for breach of etiquette? It was surely more polite to allow Mrs. Carlyle to have her choice of where she should ride than to have insisted on her riding in the Saloon against her wishes.

Mr. Froude derived his information about this journey solely from Carlyle's Reminiscences (i., 205); but in citing from Carlyle's description, he suppresses the all-important statement that Lady Ashburton was, at the time, in very poor health, - "much unwell," "sat or lay in the Saloon," are Carlyle's words; and she died in May following. Under these circumstances, Mrs. Carlyle would naturally prefer to ride in the Gentlemen's compartment, where she would at least be out of sight of suffering and able to [Page 117]  take part in lively conversation, rather than in the Saloon with an ailing Lady; and Lady Ashburton, instead of being blamed for want of etiquette, deserves the highest credit for her kindness and generosity in allowing Mrs. Carlyle to have her own way; she might very naturally have expected from her guest some little attentions during the journey, which must have been a trying one for an invalid. At any rate the arrangement seems to have suited both ladies; and Mr. Froude might well have spared his condolences with Mrs. Carlyle, and especially his unmerited abuse of Lady Ashburton. The above Letter shows, at least, that Mrs. Carlyle had no complaints to make about the journey. There is evidence to shew that she had thanked Lady Ashburton with more than the ordinary terms of polite compliment for the very treatment which Mr. Froude so deeply deplores. For, on the 3rd of August, Lady Ashburton writes in a Note (mentioned in Letters and Memorials, ii. 287): "I am glad to hear such prosperous accounts of yourself and him [Carlyle]. I had only so much share in the bettering transaction as comes from some necessary decision." A most friendly little Note, and signed "Your affectionate H. M. A." It is pretty safe to say that Mrs. Carlyle rarely, if ever, performed so long a journey with more ease and comfort.

As to the homeward journey, Mr. Froude says: "One is not surprised to find that when Lady A. offered to take her home in the same way she refused to go." But Lady Ashburton's kind offer was not made till Mrs. Carlyle had left Edinburgh and gone to Thornhill. There is absolutely no reason to suppose that she had any other motive for her refusal than the obviously sufficient one, that she was already far South, and could return home much more conveniently by the direct route, via Carlisle, than by the long and complicated route, via Edinburgh.

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[1] By "uncertainties" Mrs. Carlyle is referring to various invitations she had received, especially to one from Lady Ashburton to come to Kinloch Luichart (the Ashburtons' summer quarters in the Highlands). "There is," wrote Lady Ashburton, "a comfortable, quiet room for you here, if you like to come any time before the end of September. The Ness and Canal to Inverness, which is no trouble; and from Inverness here, the Skye Mail, - thirty miles of road; days of Mail passing by our door, Monday, Wednesday and Friday." - A bad cold, caught in Dr. Guthrie's over-heated Church, made Mrs. Carlyle uncertain for a while whether to accept or refuse; but the cold not leaving her, and her time slipping away, she has now decided not to go further North, and writes accordingly to set Carlyle free to arrange his own plans independently of her.

[2] Fergus of Kirkcaldy.


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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom