April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 5 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490705-JWC-TC-01; CL 24: 99-101


Thursday / 5 Cheyne Row [5 July 1849]

I am so glad of your letter this morning! after Miss Wynn's Nonsensical preparation, I could not feel at all sure— It sounds bad enough, but it might have been worse—“kept at sea double the time” and “short of provisions”—that would have been a go! I am very busy today; having written to Mr Neuberg that the last wild goose will alight at him on Monday1—and having a world of things to do in the interim— And so I must be brief—better perhaps I let alone writing altogether; but then—you might be ‘vaixed’—

Hitherto my time has been chiefly taken up by people—that dreadful Hartman went with the heart of a whole day— I brought my history up to the interruption of Darwin & Mrs Wedgwood— So soon as they had gone, taking your letters to post; I eat some dinner, and then went out for a little air and exercise after so much sitting— Went to Howel & James's to pay [for]2 my last thin gown and Mr Neubergs bonnet—the bill for which had never been sent in—and returned by Omnibus— Anthony Sterling came while I was at tea and presently after Masson and Mr Russell from Edinr;3 each of these gentlemen drank four cups of tea! I talked a great deal, having all the responsibility to myself, and “made so many wits”4 for them; that Anthony bolted off at nine, and the others staid till eleven evidently quite charmed with me! so differently do ‘wits’ act upon different characters! Yesterday I rose with a headach—the penalty of all that cleverness;—but cold water and coffee staved it off— Having made an inventory of the plate, and packed it to be sent to Bath House, I went out and transacted a variety of small affairs: dined very slightly in a confectioners shop—Blanche Stanley and Miss Ferrar having insisted on coming to tea with me at five oclock! and was home just in time to receive them—no such “everlasting friendship” has been sworn to me these thirty years as this of Blanche's! She flings herself on my neck, begs me to call her Blanche says with tears in her eyes “Oh does not every one love you”? protests that she “would like to stay with me for ever”—and in fact embarrasses me considerably with a sort of thing I have been quite out of these many years. While we were at tea (and these girls too had each four cups! with cakes and bread and butter in proportion) up drove Lady Ashburton, which was great fun for all parties—she was in ‘tearing spirits’ and so were we by that time—and the racket that followed for the next hour and half was what Forster5 might have called “stupendous! great God!”— She said my picture Laurences was the horridest thing she had ever seen—“like—but so disagreeably like—exactly reminding one of a poor old starved rabbit”!. I suppose she has criticised it to Laurence for he has sent to beg I will give him “one more” sitting—very inconvenient just now; but I promised to go tomorrow— Lord A was to return last night, feeling a return of his gout and wishing to be near Ferguson6

My party dismissed in good time— Lady A went at eight “to dress for a party at Lady Waldgrave's”7—the girls about nine “to dress for a ball at Lady Wilton's”8— I walked to the cab stand with them—devoutly imagined to go on and ask for Mrs Chorley9—but was too tired—so I read the new Copperfield,10 being up to nothing else, and went to bed between ten and eleven— Had again talked too much for sleep—and again rose with a headach—which again yielded to cold water and “determination of character”— A good deal has been sorted away this morning. Capt S came on his way to Hedley—but did not stay long—he brought me the writing-case he offered to you— not so nice a one as yours, after all, and a good deal worn—but it will be more portable for me than my “eternal green box” the lock of which is moreover spoiled— And now I must really make an end— I have realized a plasterer but must go after the little carpenter— You cannot say that I dont give you details enough—the cat sends her compliments and Elizabeth her love— I thought she was going to open your letter herself this morning— “Hurrah!” she said “here is Master's—and instead of giving it me fell to examining the post mark

And now I must go

God bless you ever / Yours

Jane C