October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


JWC TO JOHN FORSTER ; 14 December 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451214-JWC-JF-01; CL 20: 75-76


Bay House Sunday [14 December 1845]

My dear Mr Forster

A woman is constantly getting warned against following “the impulses of her heart”!—WHY; I never could imagine!—for all the grand blunders I am conscious of having committed in life have resulted from neglecting or gainsaying the impulses of my heart to follow the insights of my understanding or still worse of other understandings And so I am now arrived at this with it, that I have flung my understanding to the dogs and think, do, say, and feel, just exactly as nature prompts me— Well! having just finished the reading of your article on Cromwell1 nature prompts me to take pen and paper, and I tell you that I think it devilishly well done, and quite as meritorious as the book itself—only that there is not so much bulk of it!— Now do not fancy it is my wife-nature that is so excited—I am a bad wife in so far as regards care about what is said of my husbands books in newspapers or elsewhere—I am always so thankful to have them done and out of the house, that the praise or blame they meet with afterwards is of the utmost insignificance to me—it is not then because your article covers him with generous praise that I am so delighted with it, but because it is full of sense and highmindedness of its own and most eloquently written.2 As Mrs Norton3 would say “I love you for writing it”—only nobody will impute to me a fraudulent use of that word! My pen—all pens here refuse to write intelligibly— We are to come in a fortnight hence and hope to see you then ever yours affectionately J C. Love to the Macreadys