July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


JWC TO ANNA BROWNELL JAMESON ; 27 August 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470827-JWC-ABJ-01; CL 22: 43-44


Rawdon, near Leeds, [ca. 27 August 1847]

My dear Mrs. Jameson—Your Note has found me far from Cheyne Row,—away on a hill-top in Yorkshire! and I can honestly say the only moment of regret I have experienced at my change of place, was in finding I had missed a sight of you. Your very face always does me good, and it is long since I have looked on it. But you will be in London before long, and I shall be there before long;1 for I do not intend accompanying my Husband further North; Scotland is become a desolate place for me, since all I loved there are dead and gone. And so, while he is visiting his relations, I project a great household earthquake at Chelsea.

It is three weeks to-day since we started on The Pursuit of the Picturesque under Difficulties,2—the first time in our married lives that we ever figured as declared Tourists. And I fancy we should have broken down in the first blush of the business, but for a special interposition of Providence in the shape of a spirited young Quaker who came to the rescue at Matlock, and guided us triumphantly thro' all the sights of Derbyshire, northwards to his own habitation, where we have remained stationary for ten days,—in a state of comparative resignation to “things in general.”

I never enjoyed a visit so much before; and so far as I can dive into the secret of my contentment, it lies in the fact of there being no women in the house, except servants! So that I have as fine a time of it as Beauty in the Castle of the Beast!

“Speak thy wishes, speak thy will,
Swift obedience meets thee still.”3

The only time I have been reminded that I live in a conditional world,4 was two days ago when our young Host and myself were pitched heels over head out of a gig; but except bringing me back to what Carlyle calls “the fact of things,” even this misadventure did me no harm; indeed I have felt rather better for the tumble.

I want so much to hear from you about the Brownings;5 want so much to give you a good kiss.

Ever your affectionate

Jane Carlyle