April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


JWC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 10 November 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18491110-JWC-JAC-01; CL 24: 283-285


Saturday [10 November 1849]

Cool! upon my honour!—I write you a long, charming letter, tell you every thing I know and some things more—and far from making me “a suitable return” you make me no return at all!— And yet I should like to know which of us is the busiest?— If you saw the quantity of needlework alone that has been done by me since I resumed the “cares of linen,” to say nothing of the joiner and carver-and-gilder work you would hang your head in shame— I have taken a spree of novel-reading too—read Shirley last week by the Authoress of Jane Eyre and one of Trollope's—having been taken one day to Mrs Proctor to see Trollope in her own house, and introduced to her as “a friend from the Country”1— (that at my own desire for fear she should return the call) and having found her a shrewd honest woman to hear talk—but her book is rubbishy in the extreme—and Shirley ain't much better—that spell of novel reading and a dinner at Knight the Publishers, to patch up a feud with Harriet Martineau is all in the shape of amusement that I have taken since my return2—and not much more amusing than darning stockings—

You have heard that Plattnauer was going back to Lord George—we hope so—he had written to that effect; but till we hear of Lord George's acceptance of him there is an uncertainty He expected a letter last Tuesday and is not come to tell me of it yet, which look illish. . God knows but Lord G discovered he was derranged when he came away so suddenly, and may not incline to risk further relation with him— Darwin is come back but I have not seen him yet— Miss Wynn is come back also, and her I have seen, once, in a clatter of Parrots and little cats and dogs with which she solaces her loneliness at the top of the house— Bölte is still in Germany imbibing “the new ideas”— Anthony Sterling has got Harriet Martineau going to visit him for a couple of days next week—or rather going to visit his very lackadaisical governess who is her cousin3— He has found a new outrake [outlet] for his superfluous activity in a small printing press he has set up at Hedley—with the power of not only writing verses but printing them, one may live a little longer—

Please to write tho it be but with somebody “waiting to take the letter to the postoffice”— We want to hear of your Mother very often till she be quite recovered—and really considering that I am your patient—to urge no other claims you ought to keep on eye upon me, to be sure I dont poison myself with that prodigious assortment of pills I am continually swallowing— — I write today at Mr C's suggestion who has only time to “add a postscript” the Painter Carrick having got hold of him again— Love to them all

Yours ever affectionately

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