April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 9 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440709-JWC-TC-01; CL 18: 118-119


[9 July 1844]

Dearest— your long amusing letter was a real godsend to me this morning—for my plight is very sad— Here am I transplanted to this beautiful house with “all that is pleasant in life”—even clever human speech—and incapable of getting the least good of it all from having caught a horrid cold—it is nothing for you to feel uneasy about only very painful for myself in the mean time— I feared that my sore—throat on Sunday was only a beginning and so it proved—in the afternoon there came face-ach in addition and considerable fever, and I had to retire to bed and foment with camomille flowers &c &c—yeseterday having breakfasted in bed I thought myself well enough to get up—and kept to my purpose of coming hither—both because I did not like to give Mrs Paulet the trouble of bringing the carriage to no purpose and because the closeness of the Maryland Street house was growing quite oppressive to me in my feverish state— So I wrapt myself excellently well up in innumerable shawls and cloaks and was conveyed away in spite of the remonstrances of my cousins— We picked up Geraldine at the railway—and her joy over me was quite enlivening, and Mrs Paulets sunshiney looks and cordial harum-scarum speech would have made me really quite happy for the time, had not my head ached and every bit of me been suffering from the increase of my cold—or perhaps it was not made worse by the drive but only running its natural course—

Thank Heaven they have not bored me with fuss— Mrs Paulet put a great fire in my room—had my bed aired with a warming pan and then ordered Geraldine to come away with her—for “she judged by herself that in the case I was in I would think it greatest kindness to be left alone.” Nothing could be more judicious for the heat of my bed brought on some perspiration and the silence was the best of composing draughts— The pain in my head abated towards morning and finally I got to sleep— Geraldine brought me some tea in the morning with a demure air which was quite edifying—plainly Mrs Paulet had been lecturing her into it— I am up now and have dined for “thanks God” they dine here at half after two—and one DRESSES only once-a- day—viz: at first getting up. Miss Newton1 who with all her oddity seems a gentle good creature is going into Liverpool to seek some books—and will take this line still in time I hope for the evening post if not the mornings. I hope by keeping quite warm and going early to bed to be quite recovered tomorrow—for I really grudge being ill here—where I need nothing but tolerable wellness to enjoy myself for a few days very much— Bless you Dear and thank you again for your long letter to which I am “a-most ashamed”2 to send so poor a return— but what better can you expect from a woman streaming at the eyes and nose—and with iron-crown on her head— Every body sends love to you. Geraldine—is good just now upon my honour

Yours ever /

Jane Carlyle