The Collected Letters, Volume 26


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 7 September 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510907-JWC-TC-01; CL 26: 158-159


2 Birchfield Place / Higer Ardwick / Sunday [7 September 1851]

Surely, Dear, you have now got my specific address! I wrote on Friday morning, on “the voluntary Principle,”1 your first letter not reaching me till Friday night. Frank brought it to Dilberoglues, where Geraldine and I had gone before him—and I read it with great contentment during a Greek repast—reminding one of the Arabian Nights— All sorts of dried fruits and delicate cakes interspersed with cold roast-ducks (!) delicious coffee and tea &c—presided over by the loveliest large-eyed Greek girl that Imagination ever conceived, and an old Greek Lady that seemed the Ideal of a Scotch Covenanter's Wife!— I never spent a more exotic evening, and your letter, relieving me from all anxieties about your shirts and other indispensables, made me free to enjoy the poetry of it— Yesterday Geraldine and I dined and spent the evening with Mrs Gaskell—and Frank had already gone to bed when we came home—forgetting, amidst the cares of taking watergruel and bathing his feet, for a cold, to leave your second letter on the table for me—nay, little oblivious valetudinarian that he is! he continued to forget it thro the morning, breakfasting in bed, and leisurely dressing, and has only given it me now at half after twelve—and at one we were to set out to spend the day at Mr Witworths2—and I have my gown to change— But I must at the certainty of keeping them all waiting write these few lines to show that my “pride is not up again against you”—to any formidable extent—

For the rest I also continue to bathe and walk before breakfast—and keep pretty well in spite of my debate against pills—Geraldine is kind as possible—and everybody civil— Nero has been detected, by a Policeman, without a muzzle! and my name written in his tablets, but I extricated myself from my new position with consumate skill—I will tell you all about it after—

Geraldine has just been in to suggest meekly that I need not change my gown— So I must get ready for them— Kind regards to the Scotsbrig people

Affectionately yours

Jane W Carlyle