The Collected Letters, Volume 28


JWC TO KATE STERLING ; 13 August 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530813-JWC-KS-01; CL 28: 248-249


5 Cheyne Row / Saturday [13? August 1853]

My dearest Kate

I have been living from day to day in a sort of “devout imagination” that you would come skipping in, and almost stifle me with kisses! but anything so extremely pleasant couldnt, I might have felt sure, come my way just at present when decidedly the tide in my affairs is flowing out not in— I have a whole novel in three volumes of disasters to tell you when we meet, ending (not the meeting but the novel) in a great crash amongst—not the ten commandments—but my—“what shall I say?—teeth! I have been in Scotland—and all went wrong with me there and I came home “quite promiscuously” two months sooner than I meant TO. Your first letter reached me in Liverpool as I went, and the second again in Liverpool as I returned—thank you Darling for both—better or welcomer letters couldnt be—from one woman to another—but I dont feel as if I could answer such nice long letters in writing—you must come and take the answers “face to face and soul to soul”—(god bless us how poetical!)—

It would have been a greater surprise to me than it was when his Captainship1 walked in one morning looking as black as thunder and ten sweeps into the bargain had not Miss Farrer told me the day before of his return and of the poor wifes new confinement— He was decidedly not improved in the temper by his long voyage—and would tell me absolutely nothing about anything; but that he left you all in the yacht and supposed you were at Cowes,2 After that I looked for you every day—nor do I know yet that you are at Headly— The Capt offered to take Mr C to the naval review but Mr C is no man for that sort of thing and refused the good the Gods had provided him thro the Captain Whereupon he il Capitano flashed off and I have seen or heard no more of him—now pray come up—I have a bed now to offer you—altho the work people are all on the roof building “a silent apartment” after all!!— They go up the outside of the house by ladders thank God—and wont come in, they promise, till the new stairs have to be made— We have a new Architect this time and things go on like fire—— If this house become uninhabitable again by and by—there is Addiscombe standing empty with one Maid in it—which Lady A with her usual practical kindness puts at our service— Meanwhile till I have bought myself a goose quill pen or two I can write with no expansion—for steel pens are and ever will be perfectly unmanagable to my fingers so the only chance you have to get at my history since we parted is to put yourself in the train and come here— Tell me what day you will come—and if you can sleep two in a bed Julia will perhaps come too—Lotta the Capt said was still lame with her ancle—so unless she would come to see a surgeon it might be pleasanter for her to come when she can walk—decidedly if the ancle is not mending fast she ought to show it to somebody—Settle it as you like—

Dalwig has been here for a fortnight and is now gone into Yorkshire Had he been coming about I should hardly have ventured to ask you. I spoke of you all, one day to him—in case he should feel the avoidance of your name as unpleasant as the mention of it— He smiled and looked down but did not blush as of old—not the least in the world— He blushed more when I asked to what part of Yorkshire he was going— I shall always think it a pity you didnt happen to like that man—he is to my notions very loveable—and grows so handsome and is such a thorough Gentleman—and then his friendship for Reichenbach is a thing belonging to the Romantic ages of the World, the Golden age— Well I hope your future Husband will please me as much and so goodby

with love to Lotta and Julia—and what is proper to Edward

Your affectionate /

Jane W Carlyle