JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH; 3 April 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490403-JWC-JW-01; CL 24: 8-10
JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH
[3 April 1849]
Upon my honour, dearest Babbie, I am afraid you are growing into a—Unitarian!— You heap coals of fire on my head1 with such an air of unconscious amiability!—not that unconsciousness of all things is a distinctive feature of Unitarianism but the amiability!—it is more than Christian this writing away—all the same as if your letters got duly answered— Well! you do quite right—it is the only way of touching me in certain periods of devil-possessedness—in which periods, by the way, the most striking symptom is a horror at letter-writing, similar to the horror mad-dogs conceive at water— You might have sulked at me in silence a good while yet, or you might have written me several letters of—
There's a fine go! The above was written at Chelsea three days ago— I was interrupted by little Louis Blanc—interruption followed interruption—till here I am—at Addiscombe—for twenty four hours with my letter still just begun!—
This visit is one of the things that has been unsettling me—it was to have come off a fortnight ago—but Lady A fell ill—or rather fell worse—and could not move from London till the weather softened— I am alone with her hitherto— Lord A is in town and also Mr C—but the latter is asked to come on Thursday and will not fail, and we shall then stay, both, till Monday next.
It looks very sad here without Charles Buller—everything reminds one of him—there are two foolish strings of beads which he once brought to Lady A from some fair—a red string and a blue one, hanging about the china candlesticks of a writing stand, that I could almost cry over—me—! but Lady A has recovered entire composure on that subject—speaks of him as unconcernedly as I do— And his poor Mother is dead!—better so—her life was miserable and she died without pain— I was with her the night of her death till within half an hour of her breathing her last—but the scene was shocking for me in more ways than one—and I could do no good by remaining as she was quite unconscious of my presence—so I kissed her little cold hand and came away2— That and other things put me on a tack of headachs—which I cannot at all get out of—perhaps the week here may break the spell—
My new maid continues to give me great contentment—she is far the most loveable creature I ever had—and a very fair servant—not so good a cook as Anne—but better than Helen3—and a more active housemaid then either— I think she likes me already too well to dream of giving warning—and I hope for a long term of peace again—the nasty little beast4 got a place—but how long she will keep it is the question! I never mean to set eyes on her again if I can help it—or hold any communication with her.
Little Lewis came the other night with his little wife5—speaking gratefully of you all—but it is Julia Paulet6 who has taken his soul captive!! he raves about her “dark luxurious eyes” and “smooth firm flesh”—! his wife asked “how did he know? had he been feeling it?” In fact his wife seems rather contemptuous of his raptures about all the women he has fallen in love with on this journey, which is the best way of taking the thing—when one can—
I used to thing7 these Lewises a perfect pair of love-birds always cuddling together on the same perch—to speak figuratively—but the female love-bird appears to have hopped off to some distance and to be now taking a somewhat critical view of her little shaggy mate—! In the most honey-marriages one has only to wait—it is all a question of time— Sooner or later “reason resumes its empire” as the phrase is Cultivate this new thought of writing off six lines at me whenever you have a movement that way—
I hear her Ladyship gone down—and must follow to tea— God bless you— This is as good as no letter tho' long enough—but I have not settled down here yet—indeed it is a while since I was settled down anywhere—
John Fergus told me the other day that “Mr Welsh8 was surely the gaiest young Reverd going—he constantly met him driving young ladies in gigs”— I answered very coldly—“a Man, even revd, might drive his sisters I supposed without a scandal”—he asked what relation he was to me—and when I said my cousin, he pretended surprise and repeated “What! your whole cousin”?—
but I must go
Ever your affectionate /