April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 18 December 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18441218-JWC-JW-01; CL 18: 288-289


[18 December 1844]

Dearest Babbie

I will try and write to you today, tho I am fearing I shall make but a poor hand of it.

It is not “well-doing” or doing in any shape that has hindered me from writing till now—but that I have been laid up for two or three weeks with one of my horrid colds— All the last week I passed drearly enough in bed—this week I am down stairs, but still so weak and headachy that I might as well be in bed yet for anything I am good for out of it— Of course I often wished some comfort from you—or some any thing from you—but as I was a letter in your debt I had no reasonable ground to complain—at last however you have mustered generosity enough to write a second time—which moves me to muster physical force enough to answer— All this time I have written just two letters—one to my uncle the other night—on first getting out of bed—when the excitement of the thing was making me very talkatively disposed—and Carlyle being out at dinner the only possible talking for me was on paper—the other to Mrs Buller on a very serious piece of business which could not be put off till “a more convenient season”1— She had written from Nice in great perplexity of spirit to ask me—sitting here or rather lying here in Cheyne Row Chelsea what she was to do with Miss Bolte who had lost her senses in a fever she had had and gave no promise of recovering them: Upon my honour this element of Madness in which I seem doomed henceforth to live and move is beginning to take effect on my own sanity— I had been very uncomfortable about poor little Bolte for several weeks having heard of this fever—and also that she considered herself very much neglected by the Bullers—which it was not difficult for me to believe— Tizzy2 being ill at the same time would leave them no sympathy or cares to bestow on any one else— The fact is while they removed with Tizzy to their villa Miss Bolte was left to transact her sickness in a Hotel—first on the pretence that she could not be removed (tho John Carlyle says that in no stage of that sort of fever is removal attended with the smallest risk provided it be done carefully) and afterwards on the ground that Mrs Bacon alias Revis— alias “unfortunate female” was on a visit to Mrs Buller along with the Capt. Bacom3 whom for the time being she calls her husband!4 Really, all this is a little too strong for even my morality! I sent Mrs Buller all the information I had about the poor things family that she might be enabled to communicate with them as fast as possible and recommend her being if possible sent home to her own Mother— But before this letter could be received here I have since yesterday another which states the danger to be now of her life rather than her intellects—any how they seem very anxious to be rid of her—and I trust in God she will get alive out of the mess— Mr Fleming tells me that Tizzy who is “the most artful little Devil” in nature has got provoked with Miss Bolte for too much repressing her premature tendencies to unfortunate femalisings and tells Mrs Buller all sorts of lies to get her turned off which Mrs Buller is silly enough to believe— When they have rid themselves of Miss Bolte—if death alas do not anticipate them—they may turn their hand with that young lady of theirs as they like but I am no Schupingsing if this ridding herself of the only person who has succeed in having the upper hand of her be not her first decided step towards “the streets”—

And Good God there is Plattnauer back to Paris—only “awaits his luggage from Geneva” to return to London and from all I can gather from his letters no saner than he went— I tired of writing to him “every week” as he demanded—and so he was left a fortnight at Nice without any letter—and the consequence has been—what I little dreamt of—a precipitate return to Paris—where en attendant [awaiting] his arrival in England—“he will be nearer for getting letters”!! within the last ten days I have had three letters from him besides one written to Miss Clayton to enquire about me!— He is just like a bewildered child that has lost its Mother in a crowd! What is to become of me when he is come back— I wish there may not be a catastrophe before all's done— I have much more to tell you—and more about “Mads”—but I am exhausted for this time—and a fog has come over my paper— Love to Maggie and Walter—kisses to yourself

Ever your own /