The Collected Letters, Volume 12


JWC TO FRANCES JULIA WEDGWOOD ; November 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18401100-JWC-FJW-01; CL 12: 310-311


[November? 1840]

Amiable Snow

Most joyfully should I do anything thy little heart desires, Within the bounds of possibility and reason: but the fishes I really cannot give thee, the fact being, that they are not, and never were in my keeping.

Your mistake, however, is a very natural one—nay, (to quote from Lady Bulwer's novel which you have possibly not yet seen) I would say “it does credit to your head and hort.” For if I have not the fishes;1 I certainly ought to have had them. (Yet so it is! they were not so much as offered me!) and I am pleased to find that you think so, as well as myself.

I saw your little form in the distance, when I called, and should have liked to give you a kiss. but it could not be done without a good deal of embarrassment to all parties concerned. You will say that so very simple a transaction need not have embarrassed anyone, unless perhaps you, who might have felt undisposed at the moment to go out and be kissed. But grown people, dear Snow, are apt to be troubled about many things; in the simplest affairs, they find so many little niceties to be attended to, that they are about as badly off as Gulliver when the Lilliputians bound him with infinite pack-thread.2 If you hope then, dear Child, by growing older to have more your own way, you are labouring under complete delusion; when you are a tall woman you will be surprised to find how very little you can get done of what you would like to do, even when there is no harm in it to the naked eye. Meanwhile, let me live in your remembrance, and be assured of a warm reception and an immediate answer to any communication, you may be disposed at any time to favour me with.3