April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


JWC TO AMALIE BÖLTE ; 15 August 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480815-JWC-AB-01; CL 23: 93-94


5 Cheyne Row [15 August 1848]

My Dear

Having constituted yourself a little Providence for your friends you must take the consequence of being applied to in all sorts of contingencies. But you are a rash, slap-dash Providence and your interventions often miscarry thro this over-zeal. So I pray you not only to come to my aid with your good intentions, but to do it with a certain practical deliberation. My maid is going away and I must have another— The reasons for my parting with her need not be stated here—enough that she is to go—and I must again endure the horrors of a household revolution—a hateful thought; just now, whilst I am still confined to the house, and good for so little in it.

By communicating my want to the Tradespeople—or by putting an Advertisement in the newspapers I might have plenty of servants sent me to look at—but such over-plenty! and a chance whether one would be found among them worth the trouble of investigating—and this year I have not poor Christie to receive the whole swarm and send me only such as seemed to have some feasibility for my purposes.1

Miss Wynne has a Welsh-woman out of a situation, of whom she spoke to me some time since, in case of my hearing of a place for her;2 but she does not think her adequate to my own service. Tho' she says so much good of her that I have pressed her to let me at least judge of her with my own two eyes.

It would be a kindness to me then; if you would inquire among your acquaintance if what Mrs Buller calls “a treasure” be known to any of them. You should know by this time the sort of person I need—and such a one is more likely to be heard of among your poorer acquaintance than the rich ones—a servant out of a fine house would not content herself in mine nor could I ever reconcile myself to the ways of such a one. If you hear of any, write to me and tell me her particulars before sending her here—for there is great awkwardness in refusing any one sent, when one dont like her on examination.

There are Servants Homes and Places I believe where one can have choice on paying something But I am not well enough to venture out yet on such errands—my cough has been worse of late days and I have had mustard blisters on and been bothered considerably—

Lady Harriet was here yesterday and met Miss Wynne at the parlour door— I never saw two such tall women in my room together.

Ever affectionately yours

Jane Carlyle