April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO HELEN WELSH ; 16 October 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18441016-JWC-HW-01; CL 18: 243-245


Wednesday [16 October 1844]

Dearest Helen

This being the first hour in which I have been able to hold myself erect for the last five days, I should hardly have carried the enthusiasm for corresponding to such a pitch as to have employed it in answering your letter by return of post. Only that I never like to put off where business is concerned especially when any one's business is waiting. So that I hasten to tell you I see absolutely no chance I have at present of being able to forward Isabella's1 views— There is hardly a family I am acquainted with now in London— I know of nobody going abroad—of nobody that is wanting a governess even here in England unless Mrs Macready be still on on the outlook, and she requires such a thorough knowledge of so many different languages; that it were idle to propose to her an Englishwoman who had never lived in foreign parts As she gives a hundred a year of salary she has a right to first rate accomplishment— I shall keep my ears open, indeed I have been doing so ever since Jeanie first told me of Isabella's having to leave her present situation, and if I hear of any thing likely to suit her, you may depend on my putting all my energies into action on her behalf—for I think her a very true and thoroughgoing person—besides that she is your friend—just now however I am bound to declare at once, that I have not the smallest ability to do her a service which were a service to myself at the same time as it would be a real pleasure to me could I by any amount of running and writing and talking have promoted her interests. Neither do I know of any governess just now adapted to the wants of Mrs Clay2 Miss Bolte might have suited if belief in the “first chapters of Genesis” could be dispensed with: but Miss Bolte is gone to Italy with the Bullers—where she is performing the functions of Courier and Interpreter rather than those she bargained for—of Governess— The Child Theresa3 will probably run off with some mustachioed count before long—and so wash their hands of her altogether—the premature Genius for flirtation which has developed itself in her being from all accounts something tremendous!

“Upon my honour” that Margaret of yours is a jewel! Do tell me more and more of her! “I find HER” as the German Dr Julius said of Scotch Marmalade “particularly amusing”!4 But I must draw up for today—I will write again very soon— It is merely as in your own case, and as in every ones case I think just now a crisis of biliousness that has ailed me—coming out in a violent rheumatism in the back of my head and neck—whereby I have been as if nailed to a sofa on the flat of my back for five days—today “thanks God” I can sit up by snatches—but I am still as stiff as a crutch and my head aches

Love and kisses—

Your affectionate /