January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


JWC TO HELEN MACKENZIE ; 3 February 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450203-JWC-HDM-01; CL 19: 20-21


[3 February? 1845]

My dear Mrs Mackenzie

I should have answered your kind note by return of post; had not my husband proposed to carry his own message yesterday. But this, like many other of his “best laid schemes,”1 was not destined to take effect—

He and his Brother will wait upon you on Friday or Saturday next, whichever of those days you prefer—and at your own hour; only have the goodness to mention what your natural hour is— For myself, I hope to see you again some forenoon, before long—but as I detest not keeping engagements when I have made them, I must beware of making any at present which involve locomotion— There have been so many headachs appointed me of late weeks that I am absolutely not fit for anything in the way of visiting unless perhaps to play the part of the Skeleton Lady at the Egyptian feasts!2—a part which I confess I have still too much human vanity left in me to accept, so long as society has plenty of other phenomena to remind it of its latter end— And so I always keep at home in such states, where alone one may enjoy what a foreign friend of mine used to call le grand bonheur de la vie [the great happiness of life], “the perfect liberty of being as ugly and stupid and disagreeable as one likes”!3— I do hope to see you again however and meanwhile believe me truly yours

Jane Carlyle

Monday morning / Cheyne Row