August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


JWC TO HELEN WELSH; 17 February 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470217-JWC-HW-01; CL 21:160-162.


Wednesday [17 February 1847]

Only a line today dearest Helen to tell you that we are finally on the eve of our return to Chelsea— Tomorrow, if no “dreadful collision” or other dispensation of Providence occur to prevent us we shall dine under the auspices of Anne Brown—Lady H does not go to town till the 1st of March and wished very much that we would stay—at least that I! would stay till then—but C had no notion of going back by himself nor would I have let him—in case of his playing the deuce with Anne without my intermediation—and Doctor Johns intending to take up his quarters at Cheyne Row—previously to returning into his old lodgings which are nevertheless standing vacant—it was necessary that somebody should be there to prevent his fretting and fussing the said new Anne all to nonsense— He spoke of being at our house to night—for so that he gets himself lodged and fed he cares not a straw whether we be there or not— From a letter I had from Mrs Paulet yesterday however I rather think he will hang in the wind at Seaforth a day or two longer— I shall go back much stronger than I came—which is merciful considering the worry that I shall have with John before he get himself settled on his own basis again—

Lady H has been really very kind to me—and I feel extremely obliged to her in every way—as well for what she has not done as for what she has done— I do not pretend to understand her any better than heretofore—but this much is quite certain that from one motive or other—systematically or involuntarily she has staved off a deal of vexation from me which might easily have attended my visit and made it very wretched.

Thanks for the silk which I have already worked up into a purse for Mazzinis Bazaar are you taking any thought of that Bazaar?1—do make a pin-cushion or two and put Mary2 who is so neat-handed on doing the like— Lady Anne is working for a Scotch Bazaar and Lady Joscelin3 for an Irish one— Lady Joscelin you may remember is that daughter of Lady Palmerston4 who had Count Juliano5 for Father—now is living close by here with her Husband for sea air— Since they came she has been over almost every day—and I must tell you an absurd thing that took place— Your acquaintance Mrs Bancroft6 was dining one day at the Palmerstons—and the discourse turning on children Lady Palmerston observed that sons generally resembled the Mother much more than the Father whereupon Mrs Bancroft (not aware that Lady P had been married before, and that she had professedly no children by Lord Palmerston—only two of Lord Coopers children being Lord Palmerstons exclaimed “Well I am quite astonished that your Ladyship does not see the most wonderful likeness in your second son to Lord Palmerston”!!!7 and at a party afterwards where some of the Palmerston people were the poor fool said publickly—“is it not strange that Lady P sees no likeness in her second son to his Father”?!! Lady Harriet had been telling me this story in presence of Mr Charteris— Well one day that Lady Joscelin was here and Mr Charteris and Lady Anne at the same time—Lady Anne said something of being unable to get on with Bancrofts book8—whereupon Charteris exclaimed to Lady H “what was that good story you were telling us of Mrs Bancroft?— Some dreadfully stupid thing she said somewhere?” Lady H being right opposite to Lady Joscelin could make no sign to him—merely said confusedly “I dont remember”—and he continued insisting about it till Lady Anne took hold of his arm and gave him a dreadful pinch— Afterwards he went away and I went up stairs—and Lady Harriet sitting with only Lady Joscelin and Lady Anne fancied somehow that the strangers were gone and that she was left with Lady Anne and me—and began “I really think Frank is going mad! did you ever hear the like of that about Mrs Bancroft”?!! and then Lady J turning a look of inquiry on her she came to herself and had to get off the matter as she best could—— But I had not time for a long letter today and see—— I will send my debt when I get back, and have a command of change——

God bless you all

Ever your affectionate