January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


JWC TO HELEN WELSH ; 7 June 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420607-JWC-HW-01; CL 14: 201-202


Tuesday [7 June? 1842]

My darling Helen

I wished to write to you yesterday, but my heart was jumping about at such a cruel rate that I thought it best to make as little writing as possible serve the turn— Today I am a little better of it, not much—and besides we are expecting Mrs Macready to stay with us till night,—so still I cannot write to you as I should like—but a line or two I WILL send; just to say how grateful I felt for your affectionate letter— I know not how it is but in these two letters you have written to me lately it is no longer my cousin Helen that I find, but rather my Aunt Jeannie1—the helpfulest and most gentle-hearted mortal that ever God made— I think you like her, and begin to love you as I loved her— You could not wish for a better recognition of all your goodness to me—

Jeannie is well and the greatestest possible comfort to me— I vex myself sometimes that she leads so dull a life beside me—but I seem to have all the regret on that score to myself—she never looks as if she found it dull or wished for anything else—but as Helen2 says— “They are angels just—the whole family of them and I saw that when I was there.”— All my friends who have been here as yet seem so pleased with “the little Cousin”— Darwin smiles on her most begnignly—and Mrs Wedgewood3 looked at her in such a way thro' her spectacles that Jeannie found herself reminded of Mr Pickwick—an odd likeness for a young clever woman!—

Jeannie will have told you about the boxes— I have not mustered courage yet to look to them myself. It is not however that I have merely a weak fear of being distressed by the sight of these things—all that must be fronted sometime or other and the sooner one gets it over the better—but while my heart is plaguing me in this way—I believe I do right, in avoiding as long as possible anything that sets it agoing—it is so difficult to get it stopt again— God bless you my dear Helen— Kiss my Uncle for me—and tell him he must love me now more than ever he did— I have no other Uncle no other near relation now on earth—for these girls in Edinr4 are nothing to me except in name— Love to all the rest—and to Mrs Martin who I hope is better— I have been quite concerned about the result of her journey— I will write to her myself by and by— She also has claims on my regard that can never be forgotten by me—

Affectionately yours /

Jane Carlyle