August 1843-March 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 17


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 21 August 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430821-JWC-TC-01; CL 17: 72-75


Monday [21 August 1843]

Dearest— I meant to have written you an exceedingly long and satisfactory letter last evening, but a quite other work was cut out for me— which I cannot say I regret—it is but little good that one can do to a sane man—whereas for an insane one much is possible—and I did even the impossible for such a one last night— Poor Garnier walked in at five and staid till after nine1—and if you had seen the difference in him at his entrance and his exit you would have said that I had worked a miracle! Poor fellow they may all abuse him as they like; but I think and have thought and will think well of him—he has a good heart and a good head, only a nervous system all bedevilled—and his external life fallen into a horribly burbled [confused] state about him— I gave him tea—and took him a walk—and lent him some music—and soothed the troubled soul of him—and when he went away he said the only civil thing to me he ever said in life—“I am obliged to you Mrs Carlyle. You have made me pass one evening pleasantly—and I came very miserable”—he desired his kind regards to you and has a scheme about a propogation of small schools to propound to you— His uncle in Germany is dead—which will ultimately make an ammendment in his economics he seems to say— I am very quiet at present so few people are left in town— Even poor Gludder2—(the infamy of giving a Christian such a name!) has been gone some time to Tottenham Park3 but his patience seems near the end of its tether and he purposes emancipating himself shortly “before he loses his faculties altogether”— Then Darwin is always going off on short excursions— The Macready women4 however came the day before yesterday the first time that I had seen them since your departure—and I have something to ask on the part of Mrs Macready—“if you could give William any letters of introduction for America it would be such a favour”!5 She cannot bear the idea of his “going merely as a player without private recommendations”— They looked perfectly heartbroken these women— The letters will be needed within ten days— To Emerson?—who is their else worth knowing in America? I promised to spend a day with them before he went—

Poor Father Mathew they say is getting into deep waters here”—he does not possess the Cockney-strength of silence—his irish blood gets up when he is angered and he “commits himself”— I am all the more pleased at having given him my most sweet voice—for there is plainly a vast of party-spirit taking the field to put him down6

One thing they laugh at him for is, to my thinking, highly meritorious— Some body trying to stir up the crowd against him said “what good can come to you from that man, he is only a popish monk”?— Wherupon Father Mathew burst out “and what do you mean by saying that no good can come from a popish monk? have not you received just the greatest blessings from popish monks?—have you not received Christianity from a popish monk—the Reformation from a Popish Monk—Martin Luther?— There was something so delightfully irish—and liberal at the same time—in this double view of Luther!

No letter from you today but perhaps there will come one in the evening—you cannot be accused of remissness in writing at all rates whatever your other faults may be Oh no— You need not go to Thornhill7— It was a selfish request on my part— — I would not go myself for a thousand guineas— But send the £5 for Old Mary8 before you leave the country—her money falls entirely done at the end of this month— I computed it quite accurately when Mrs Russel wrote that she had still 30/— She will not be long to provide for poor old soul—

I have sent the books for Lockart—

I am busy with a little work just now that makes me so sad— You remember the new curtains that came from Templand9— When she made them—she wrote to me “they looked so beautiful that she could not find in her heart to hang them up till I should be coming again”—and the first sight I was to have of them was here!—and it was here—not there that they were to be hung up— It needed a deal of scheming and altering to make them fit our high-room and PICKING OUT her sewing has been such sorrowful work for me—still I could not let anybody meddle with them except myself—and to keep them lying there was just as sorrowful— Oh dear dear—

I hope you are quite free of your cold—the weather here is quite cool again— God bless you

Your affectionate

Jane Carlyle