January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


JWC TO C. G. DUFFY ; 15 September 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450915-JWC-CGD-01; CL 19: 196-197



My dear Sir

Thank you—emphatically—for the beautiful little volume you have sent me,1 “all to myself”! (as the children say). Besides the prospective pleasure of reading it; it is no small immediate pleasure to me as a token of your remembrance; for when one has “sworn an everlasting friendship” at first sight, one desires, very naturally, that it should not have been on your Irish principle, “with the reciprocity all on one side”!2

The book only reached me—or rather I only reached it—last night—on my return home after an absence of two months, in search of—what shall I say?—a religion? Sure enough if I were a good Catholic, or good Protestant, or good Anything; I should not be visited with those nervous illnesses which send me from time to time out into space to get myself rehabilitated—after a sort—by “change of air”! When are you purposing, thro the strength of Heaven, to break into open Rebellion? I have sometimes thought that in a Civil War I should possibly find my “mission”—moi! But in these merely talking times, a poor woman knows not how to turn herself; especially if, like myself, she “have a Devil”—always calling to her “March! March,” and bursting into infernal laughter when requested to be so good as specify; whither!

If you have not set a time for taking up arms; when, at least, are you coming again to “eat terms” (whatever that may mean)?3 I feel what my Husband would call “a real, genuine, healthy desire” to pour out more tea for you! My said Husband finished his Cromwell two weeks ago—then joined me at a place near Liverpool—where he remained a week in a highly reactionary state—and then he went North and I South; to meet again here when he has had enough of peat-bog and his platonically beloved “Silence”—perhaps in three weeks or a month hence. Meanwhile I intend a great Household Earthquake! thro the help of Chimney-sweeps, Carpetbeaters and other the like products of the Fall of our first Parents— And so you have our history up to the present moment—

Success to all your wishes except for the destruction of us Saxons—and believe me always very cordially yours

Jane W. Carlyle

14 [15] September / 5 Cheyne Row / Chelsea