Carlyle at His Zenith (1848-53)

By David Alec Wilson | Go to book overview

XXXII
TO SCOTSBRIG (1850)

MRS. CARLYLE in the meantime was raising her annual household earthquake, and enjoying long letters from her husband every day. Perhaps the last reply she sent him to Boverton was one dated 20.8.50, which ran:--

'Only a little note to-day, Dear,
"That you may know I am in being,
'Tis intended for a sign."

'And a sign, too, that I am grateful for your long Letters,-- my only comfort thro' this black business,' (housecleaning) 'which has indeed "flurried me all to pieces." To-day's' (Letter) '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." . . . Give my kind regards to poor dear Redwood, whose feelings I can well understand.

'Ever your affectionate ' JANE CARLYLE.'

Saturday, 24.8.50, seems to have been the day of departure, and on that day, as he wrote from Scotsbrig five days afterwards to Redwood,1 having four hours to wait at

____________________
1
Carlyle's Holidays in Wales, by John Howells, Red Dragon Magazine, April, May and June, 1884.

-308-

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