October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


JWC TO [AMALIE BÖLTE] ; 14 July 1846; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18460714-JWC-AB-01; CL 20: 234-235


Seaforth House / Liverpool Tuesday 14th July [1846]

My dear kind constant-hearted friend! if I could give you any adequate idea of all the good your packet of this morning did me—I do not say merely the pleasure it gave me—but the real good it did to my soul, I am sure you would feel satisfied with yourself for many days!— I had risen after a bad night so sick and disspirited, thinking how far away I was from all who knew about my birthday or cared about it—how probably no one was wishing me a good wish on the sorry occasion—in short—I was in a bitter mood of disbelief and morbid sorrow—when—before I had got myself completely dressed—two hours before the post time—the heaven knows how—as if a special Courier had brought it—your packet was handed into my room!—and when I opened it in bewildered curiosity, and saw a gift and a birthday letter from you—you who have known me only after my birthday had ceased to be a joyful occasion to anyone—you to whom I had caused so much pain—the sad gratitude given me lately a noble example—with true respect have I seen your struggle to make your life useful to others and honourable to yourself—and to find there a cure for your individual sorrows— God speed you in this course and enable me to do likewise!

My health is a little mended since I came here and that is something already gained; seeing how these poor “immortal souls” of ours are dependent on our mortal bodies— I have run away from Mrs Paulet and Geraldine—tho' she is but newly arrived to write you these few hurried lines that you may have the earliest possible assurance of the safety of your packet and of my heartfelt thankfulness for it— The beautiful little collar and cuffs were put on immediately for breakfast as a sort of charm to molify Destiny towards my new year—

Again God bless you and believe in the unchangeable affection

of your

Jane Carlyle