January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


JWC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 7 February 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420207-JWC-JF-01; CL 14: 40


[7 February? 1842]

Carlyle has been calling you lately The Great Smoother of all my difficulties!— If you like the Title I make you heartily welcome to it; only giving you fair notice that it means no sinecure

But however you may incline as to being Great Smoother of all my difficulties; I rely on your being occasional Smoother of such lesser difficulties as in the course of nature I may submit to your Providence

Not to keep you longer in suspense as to what I am driving at—Mrs Jameson volunteers to join us at the Theatre on Thursday—now I am not sure that you do not dislike her—and if so, you will feel yourself bored by the female addition—and if you are bored I shall notice it, and feel bored myself out of sympathy— Even supposing you indifferent as to her joining us: how is it to be managed? She foresaw no difficulty, provided I sent her word where we should be placed—but I foresee horrible things!—in the present moral state of the House! a single woman! What would her innocence avail her? she would be forced to prove her respectability before a Council of Boxkeepers—and it might end in her being turned over to the Police!1— I would have proposed that she should come to us at your Chambers (since she will go) 20 minutes before seven—but I was nervous about taking such a liberty with your chambers without having first asked your permission—in short here is a little difficulty which lays itself weeping at your feet!—raise it up and comfort it—if you honestly can— And pray understand that my only indiscretion in the business was not having kept my prospective enjoyment to myself—the notion of going along with us was wholly her own—

I have a letter from Sterling today in which he tells me that he writes to you by the same post—

Affectionately yours /

Jane Carlyle

Monday morning