April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 12 September 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440912-JWC-JW-01; CL 18: 202-203


[ca. 12 September 1844]


Carlyle is gone on a visit to Lord Ashburton's in Hampshire—Lord Ashburton being the father in law of Lady Harriet who with her husband is now residing there and as the Lady Harriet like the Queen must have her Court about her wherever she goes or stays she has summoned Carlyle down to the Grange for a week at the least—and he—never by any chance refuses a wish of hers—the clever woman that she is!— So he went last Tuesday morning1 leaving me as many things to do in his absence as if he were going to stay till Christmas—his dressing room to be papered—various paintings to be done—a new carpet to be got and put down in the low rooms—his Library to be cleaned out and all the books dusted oh heavens!—with ever so much more—and all the while a madman to attend to!—who needs to be cared for more than the most impatient of spoiled children.—who gets quite beside himself when I even talk long to anyone else in his presence— Strange is it not that Carlyle should never have looked at the fact of his being here in the light of an impediment to his own going?— Every body else was terrified for my being left alone in the house with him— But C. has no idle apprehensions he payed me the compliment of supposing that I had presence of mind and cleverness enough to manage perfectly well without any protection—and I am quite of his opinion— — How long you ask is this going to last—not very long I dare say for as Darwin says, such eternal solicitude will make me as mad as himself in process of time— He gets no better—his madness is far deeper in him and more complicated than we at first suspected— I cannot cure him I can only keep him safe until his natural friends take him under their own care— I wrote ten days ago—telling all the sad truth to the Count of Reichenbach2 and begging him to come directly to England— Engaging for his safety in the mean while—it will be a week longer at the shortest before we can possibly get an answer— He is wanting to start, so soon as Carlyle returns; on his travels!—out of this house for three days, alone, in his actual state, and again he would need to be chained!— Carlyle is as sure of this as I am and will on no account suffer him to go till some answer arrive from his Brother in law— With all this you will excuse my rare letters—the occupation and the anxiety eat up my whole thoughts between them—

I am glad that you are going into the country—the accounts of you which Walter3 brought were not favourable—(for I had a note from him altho I did not see him) I will send it—only be sure you burn it— What nonsense to say I was gone to eat white bait—I had gone with Richard4 to gravesend where he wanted to visit Miss Pardoe and C thought he should not be let go so far alone—besides I wanted to consult with Miss Pardoe in whom however lay no counsel she is kind—desperately fond of him—but a fool—in spite of her ‘City of the Sultan— Love to them all God bless you— He desired me to “give his love to Jeanie”—adding—“how this world seems to be all full of Jeanies”!

Ever your own J C 5