August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


JWC TO MARGARET WELSH ; 14 December 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18421214-JWC-MW-01; CL 15: 230-231


[ca. 14 December 1842]

MY DEAR MRS. WELSH,— Your letter1 came yesterday at an excellent moment!— I was sitting all alone here—with my feet on the fender—more unwell than usual—and horribly sad—not knowing the least in the world what to do with my life—even for that one day— something that should take me out of myself was the one thing I needed—and found in the good news of your letter. There is after all a strange truth in what is called the force of blood— I can hardly be said ever to have seen this young man—for now that he is filling such a manly function; we must not call him boy any longer—and yet I felt this piece of good fortune which has befallen him quite as a kindness of Providence towards myself, and with a warmth of gladness which I am sure I could not have got up at that moment, had it been announced to me that my most intimate friend, not a cousin or otherwise related to me in nature, had been made prime minister!— It is not so much the employment, the salary, the practice which it offers him in the meanwhile, nor yet the prospects of promotion, according to his turn of mind, which it opens to him hereafter, that delights me in this appointment; but it is the indubitable testimony to his character and capacity which lies in it, and from those who have had the best opportunities of judging of him. Success in this world does not always follow from having deserved to succeed—but the man who has deserved to succeed can do either way— his well-wishers need fear no particular anxiety about the result— And so I recommend him to Providence and to himself, with my blessing.

I do not get strong at all, which is a pity more for others than for myself— One has no business to lament that one has not strength to do this and that, so long as one does not do all that is possible with the strength one has. It were just as rational to complain that one has not a thousand a year, while one keeps a hundred lying, at no interest— My brother-in-law tells me that I shall probably be better in a month; when I shall have swallowed heaven knows how many more blue-pills, for a pain in my side that has plagued me all the last year— Maybe so! Meanwhile I am not confined to the house, but walk a little every day the weather being most mild—unnaturally so. Pray give my kind regards to my Aunts. I will write to Anne one of these days.

With affectionate wishes for yourself and John, believe me ever dear Mrs. Welsh

Very sincerely yours,