January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 12 January 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430112-JWC-JW-01; CL 16: 17-18


[ca. 12 January 1843]

Dearest Babbie

Both yesterday and today I am so sick—Elizabeth Pepoli might say so “truly” sick! that I absolutely cannot set myself to write a handsome letter such as your merits entitle you to expect— But I send you meanwhile something to keep your heart up—a scrap of my execrable handwriting—and a sight of Miss Fox's horror which she calls Carlyle!1 I say a sight—for it is my positive will and pleasure that when you have laughed your fill over it and all the rest have enjoyed the same “questionable” pleasure you are to lay it on the coals and there consume it until it be dead—the only fate which beseems such a chimera!— If you do not contrive to lay yourself up with a bad cold by means of all these temptings of providence with white muslim—I shall consider you quite an exceptional little girl—

Carlyle's first book2 will be ready for printing in the spring—he is getting on like a house in fire—there is even a prospect of their giving him a little money for this one— Twice during the last week “we have had the visit” (as Mazzini3 phrases it) of Mr Chapman & Hall (Helen announced him so) to propose— I may mention at the same time that Moxon another booksel[ler] took the opportunity of coming with Alfred Tennyson4 and has since sent a magnificent present of books, his new editions of Shakspear—Ben Johnson—Massenger and Ford—Beaumont & Fletcher—Wicherly Congreve &c—Curiosities of Literature—Miscellanies of Literature—Charles Lamb's works—Cicero!!!5— Does it not look as if the Millenium were at hand—attentions from Booksellers are a more infallible proof of rise in the world, for people in our time than a whole string of coroneted carriages at the door— Oh what a disgusting world it is after all! especially with ones insides all in a worry from continual blue pills—bless you my darling your JC