The Collected Letters, Volume 27


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 25 September 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520925-JWC-TC-01; CL 27: 304-307


20 Hemus Terrace [25 September 1852]

By this time, Dear, you will have got my letter to Dresden. I wrote there according to your first instructions. Since then, I have been rather pleased that uncertainty about your whereabout afforded me a fair excuse for observing silence. In all my life I was never in a state more unfavourable to letter-writing! so “entangled in the details”1 and so continually out of temper. I have often said that I couldn't be at the trouble to HATE anyone, but now decidedly I hate one man—Mr Morgan! His conduct has been perfectly shameful, not a promise kept, and not even an apology made for breaking them. I have ceased to write to him, or send any messages to him—I merely pray God to “very particularly damn him”2— The Carpenters Bricklayers and Plasterers are all gone out of the house; there are still some odds and ends for the Carpenter to do, and the Bricklayers will be needed outside—but the only work doing for the last week has been painting. and tho' Mr Morgan promised that two more painters should be sent to help the one already here, that promise has gone ad plures [to the majority; i.e., dead]—neither will he send back the paperhanger to finish in the staircase—With this one painter it was impossible to do all that was needed, before your return— So I have had to give up the painting of the lower rooms—too thankful to get them thoroughly cleaned once more, and refurnished. Fanny and Mrs Heywood3 were two days washing the old paint, while I cleaned the paper—and two days more it took us to bring the furniture to its old condition— The new room is cleaned out and has the old furniture in it—and tho' sufficiently bare looking, will not be uninhabitable during the winter, and when it is papered and furnished prettily it will be a very fine room indeed—Chalmers4 said with a look of envy that we couldn't have got a house with such a room in it under 150£ a year— The new bedroom up stairs is still representing “the belly of Chaos” all things thrown out of their old places finding refuge there—but my old bedroom will be “better than I deserve”5 till the other is ready—the bed is up there—without curtains but the work of rehabilitation is going on in it—so that it will be ready for sleeping in when one can safely sleep in the house at all—which is not the case at present the new paint in the stair cases poisoning the whole house And your bedroom!—Ah! that has been the cruellest cut of all!— I had it painted the first thing that it might be well aired for you and the presses you wished for, which they would not make on the spot but must have made at the work shop were ordered and promised to be all painted there to save us the smell—and behold after keeping me up with this delusion for six weeks they bring them home in raw wood!—declaring they could not be painted till they were fixed up—and so that room where I had been sleeping for a week had to be again abandoned & I could not bring the sofa in the parlour again for the passage was all in wet paint—and I felt myself growing quite ill—got up every morning with a sick headach and had got back my old sickness thro the day—which I had hoped was gone for good. So there was no sense in staying on till I took a nervous fever or some such thing— I went off, then, on a new hunt for lodgings and found a decent little appartment next door to Mrs Thorburn—whose house was fully let I have the ground floor and my bed is quite free of “small beings”—an unspeakable mercy!—indeed it is a very comfortable little bedroom tho' feebly furnished—and the people very decent quiet people. I go home to breakfast every morning and work there very hard till dinner time 2 oclock and for an hour after—or as long as I can bear the smell and then I come back here to early tea—and spend the evening in pure air—the quantity of work it takes to restore order at Cheyne Row—and repair the ruin of that general upturn is perfectly incredible. Three flittings they say is equal to a fire—but a “thorough repair” is equal to three fires!— Oh dear (in case I forget) Masson—Masson is quite frantic at having received no testimonial6 from you—the election takes place on the 5th so pray try to write to him in time I promised to tell you his ardent wish so soon as I knew where to hit you with a letter—I see hardly any body—going no where— Dr Weber has called 4 times (!) without finding me—two of the times I was in the house—au secret [hidden]—

Darwin is into his new house and now off to Shrewsbury for a little while— The Farrers are gone to Malvern Miss F's nose recovering to a wish—

Poor Mrs Macready is gone died at Plymouth on the 18th Miss M wrote me a long most kind letter—telling me that till her last hour she “loved me much”— Her life had become too suffering—it is best that it is over—

I should like to have seen Göthe and Schillers House with you—in fact your travels tho' you made them out rather disagreeable or otherwise look to me quite tempting.

I have given you a good doze of the house this time—and besides that I have really no news worth telling— A. Sterling came one day returned from Scotland and on the road to Cowes a dreadfully corpulent black Werter!7— A letter from John would be lying for you at Dresden with mine—so I need not tell his plans—I hope I shall like this new sister in-law, he seems to think I have as much share in marrying her as himself has (What a very remarkable steel pen I am writing with!) John Welsh has been made much of at Belfast and complimented in public by Colnel Sykes8—He sent me a Belfast Newspaper Oh I had nearly forgotten—Lady Stanley has been in town and sent to ask when she could find me or if I would come to her; so I preferred going to her—drank tea with her—went and came in Omnibus—but having Mrs Heywood with me by way of Ladysmaid and now good night—I am very tired and the tireder I am the less I sleep

Yours affectionately /

Jane Carlyle