The Collected Letters, Volume 25


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 8 September 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500908-JWC-TC-01; CL 25: 201-203


5 Cheyne Row / Sunday night [8 September 1850]

That toe Dear!—it may be a trifling enough matter in itself; but anything that prevents you from walking must be felt by you as a serious nuisance— I dont believe the least in the world that it has been “pricked”; if it had, you would have felt the prick at the time; I think it must be a little case of rheumatism in one particular sinew, and I would have you keep it warm with cotton, and rub it a great deal, and all up the foot, with a bit of hot flannel and some laudnum on it— That is my advice, and recollect that at Craigenputtoch I was considered a skillful Dr;—to the extent even of being summoned out of bed in the middle of the night to prescribe for John Carr,1 when “screeching as if he were at the point o daith”! And didn't I cure him on the spot, not with ‘eye water’ labeled ‘poison’ but with a touch of paregoric? Meanwhile it is pleasant to know you have a gig to move about in, and that if any thing go wrong with it; Jamie will “pey him wi' five shilling!”

Tomorrow I shall lay out two sixpences in forwarding Alton Locke (The Devil among the tailors2 would have been the best name for it) It will surely be gratifying to you, the sight of your own name in almost every second page! but for that; I am ashamed to say, I should have broken down in it a great way on this side of the end! It seems to me in spite of Geraldines Hallelujahs a mere not very well boiled broth of Morning chronicleism in which you play the part of the tasting bone3 of Poverty Row. An oppressive painful book!— I dont mean painful from the miseries it delineates—but from the impression it gives one that ‘young Kingsley’ and many like him are “running to the Crystal[”]4 as hard as they can,—and that “the end of all that agitation will be the tailors and needlewomen eating up all Maurices means”5 (figuratively speaking). And then—all the indignation against existing things strikes somehow so numbly!—like your Father licking the bad children under the bedclothes!6 but the old Scotchman is capital—only that there never was nor will be such an old Scotchman7— I wonder what will become of Kingsley—go mad perhaps—

Today (Sunday) has been without incident of any sort—not a single knock or ring— Emma at Church in the morning—I reading the Leader and writing letters—to my Aunt Elizabeth8—Geraldine—Plattnauer—and for the rest nursing a sort of Influenza I have taken— You ask about my sleep—it is not good—very broken and unrefreshing—but I get over the nights with less lying awake than in the time of the Elizabethian9 rows—my health does not improve with the quiet, one would say wholesome life I am leading—but it is beyond the power of outward circumstances, I fancy, to improve it at this date, and it is a great mercy that I keep on foot— I might easily have less inward suffering and lie far more heavy on myself and those who have to do with me— When I told you yesterday of the Duke of Buccleugh having sent three pounds in answer to Mrs Thomas' petition; I forgot to add what was also worth mention, that a copy of the petition had been sent, at someone's suggestion to Prince Albert, and from him also there was an answer sent—but not in the Shape of money— Prince Albert “regretted” that as he had so many applications &c &c”!!

There is something else I dont think I ever told you tho I meant to— Garnier is not dead!—worse—in a madhouse at Baden— Plattnauer is always a true Prophet; do you remember when I wrote to him that Garnier was dead, he answered: “Poor Garnier, and so he is dead! but I should not be surprised to see more of him”! What an undependable woman Bölte is!— She has not returned to London yet10—thankS God!— Nothing of Mazzini! so busy so busy!— Fanny Lewald eat a “shop” (chop) with me yesterday on her own invitation— Tonight she sails for Paris and the arms of Starr11—there awaiting this “bit of fascination”12—how strangely people are fascinated in this world!— What a disgraceful business that of the Barclay Brewery—there must surely have been some foreagners at the bottom of it—or the “sympathy with the Hungarians” is no such joke13— But “oh dear me”! (one may say that, now, that you have got such a trick of it yourself)14 I ought to be in bed! with plenty of flannel about my head! So good night!

Ever your affectionate

Jane W C