The Collected Letters, Volume 13


JWC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 10 July 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410710-JWC-JF-01; CL 13: 176-177


[10 July 1841]

dear Mr Forster

You are dreaming perhaps that I am gone away without sending the address—but no fear of that, or perhaps I should rather say, no hope of it! The fact is I am still here, feeling more like a Gohst that cannot get itself laid1 than anything else in prose or verse! I begin to be ashamed of showing my face even to the unknown persons who pass me by in the streets— I fancy them all saying to themselves “Chirst Almighty! what is that woman still doing above ground?” What indeed but waiting for the crowing of the cock!2— and no cock will crow! “Did you ever know anything in the least like it?” (as my good Mother says).— He went according to the programme, and since his arrival has written me three letters, each promising that the next should contain “some thing definite,” and the whole three proceeding in a rapidly increasing ratio towards “confusion worse confounded”— Today's beats the world! If you only read it you would not know whether to laugh or cry over it!—five pages of infinitismal details about houses issuing like one of our friend Oliver's parliamentary speeches in simple zero! “And now,” he says, “comes the practical question what are YOU to do?” God knows! unless I set about getting a divorce, and marry again, some man with common sense instead of Genius!

Perhaps—indeed positively—if he do not forbid— I will cut the matter short at once, by putting myself and my maid on the Railway next week and going straight to the Mother that bore me—some thirty miles beyond that Annan of his—having placed her in safe keeping, for she cannot be trusted in her own—you remember!3—I could then join this much-agitated Calebs in search of a house4 and make him find one, or else resign himself with a good grace to live in the open air!— Will not this be my best course think you? “He that considers everything will never decide on anything”5 and this man considers everything and some things more—

Meanwhile it is a pity you are so far off, or you might come and give me your ideas “on things in general”6—for seeing you always does me real good—there is something sunshiny about you, that cheers my gloom,—for little as you may suspect it I am in a state of almost continual blue-devils— I do not mean that your head wears a halo—like holy family—saint—or martyr-heads but you have a sunny manner of being that makes itself felt.

I will send your books tomorrow by the Parcel delivery Susan Hopely is good—so it must have been all a calumny that Mrs Crow was bad7

It will be the end of next week I imagine before I can get away now

Ever affectionately yours /

Jane Carlyle