April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 11 September 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440911-JWC-TC-01; CL 18: 198-200


[11 September 1844]


Your note is as lively a little image of discomfort as one could wish to have before coffee1— Now however you have eaten and slept, and seen the Lady Harriet and “all” I hope “will be well” as Plattnauer says— For me I am worried to the last degree the painter preparatory to the paperer instead of rendering himself here at six in the morning has kept me expecting him till now—just when I am going up to town to “see after my affairs”— Yesterday was very weary— Mazzini came then Darwin, then Mr Fleming bringing me Mazzini's bust which is a horror of horrors2—(oh no you certainly shall not sit to that man—) They were all mortally stupid especially Mr Fleming of whom one might have carried the simile of the Duc in Thunder to that still more offensive one of “Jenkin's hen”3— Plattnauer came home in the midst—in a state of violent talkativeness—the whole thing looked like Bedlam— At last they all went away and we eat our boiled mutton in silence—somewhat sullen— In the evening I went to take a walk with him and met little Bain4 a few steps from the door who accompanied us in the walk and came in to tea and sat there gabbing till ten oclock— Plattnauer was seized with such a detestation of him that he could not stay in the room for ten minutes together— He told me he had been “strongly tempted to seize a poker and dash his brains out (!) and so put an end to his eternal clack in that way since nothing else could stop it”—I suggested to him somewhat sternly that it did not become one visitor in a house to dash out the brains of another—a statement which he at once perceived and admitted the justice of— Today he has had a letter from his sister5 and is in much better humour— I recollected the pills in returning from the steam boat—what a genius-thought to pack them in a quill!

Here is come for you a packet from Mr Davy6 I suppose I had best forward the whole concern in case of his suggestion being good for anything—and now Goodby Mr Good—for I have grandes choses a faire [great things to do]—and nothing since yesterday to write about that cannot be put into three words God bless you

Your affectionate


I am shocked to find that I have only two pills I will get more today—they will not go into the largest quill!

They are my ordinary “family pill” altho in a blue-pill box