The Collected Letters, Volume 28


JWC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 24 May 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530524-JWC-JAC-01; CL 28: 153-154


Tuesday [24 May? 1853]

My dear John

The enclosed note will tell its own story— The writer is the wife of James Martineau in Liverpool;1 as you will probably perceive—by the light of nature— As you and your Wife are both of you kindhearted and courteous, I have no doubt you will permit this young gentleman2 to make your acquaintance. As Miss Benson phrased it “too soon will the rude hand of Time sweep the down from the cheek of that beautiful “enthu—si—asm”!—,”3 without your coming over it with the razor of repulsion!! Pray send the young man notice that he may call for you—or call for him or do something to justify my promise to his mother that her prayer would be granted her.

All is going on here much as usual except that cocks are springing up more and more till it seems as if the Universe were growing into one poultry yard! There is also a Parrot, named Lara, at next door— All that has waked up Mr C into the old phrenzy to be off—“into Silence”!—but the three or four hundred pounds laid out last year give pause. And besides as the old Servant said to his Master when threatened with parting “Where the deevil wud I gang to”?

As for me, I also feel often enough a desperate need of being off “into silence”—but a silence more deep and impregnable than is anywhere to be found in the land of the living. Meanwhile the Town fills fuller every day—and more and more “carriages call”—and one is carried along with the crowd—“down the stream of Time into the great Ocean of Eternity for Christs (?) sake Amen”4 You might write to me sometimes I think as well as to him—Love to your Wife whom everybody that sees speaks well of

Affectionately yours