1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


JWC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE; 18 April 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18540418-JWC-JAC-01; CL 29: 67-69


[ca. 18 April 1854]

My dear John

I have been waiting from day to day that I might have something to tell you of the affair you had so well commenced for Mrs Newton.1 But altho' she forwarded her address immediately in the same cover you sent, she has had no further news. She desired me to tell you how much she felt your and your wifes interest in her. She continues in the Lying in Hospital altho her time has been up three weeks ago. The officials like her, and are pleased she should stay, and she thinks it best, having nothing else to do for the moment, to take all the practice she can get. But it is very trying work for her health—up night after night with “cases”—that last sometimes the whole night long—and, like me, she cannot sleep during the day Having been up to the work of the Hospital for 7 weeks at a stretch she need never fear the fatigues of waiting on any single Lady—or individual Lady—I should say rather—to avoid even the sound of impropriety.

I told all about her to Sir James Clark2 the last time I dined with him at Bath House. and he told me by all means to send her to him as tho' not in that sort of pra[c]tice3 himself he might have opportunity to be of use to her. She went accordingly and after a long conversation in which he amused her very much by telling her three times over, she “had only to keep steady4—which English people understand in a quite peculiar sense—he gave her his own card with recommendation of her to the world at large written on it!—which between ourselves was the act of a kindhearted man rather than of a scrupulous Physician—for he had not seen her [two?]5 certificates—and had only my word and her own for her fitness— She has excellent certificates however—from the Hospital Dr and Matron—and may be considered I think fairly afloat— If only the Husband dont come back and swamp her. In fact he writes that he must see her and will come to London for a day or two at least— But he cant get in to the Lying in Hospital!—and her Mother wont receive him in her house—and happily he has no money so if she keep to her good resolutinos to have no concern with him he cannot force himself on her— Yes, I am afraid you are right!—he is not so near death and foregiveness as one thought—

By the way, Sir James Clark asked me that same night where you were and what doing. And great was his surprise to find you married—! and to his old patient Mrs Watts,—of whom he seemed to entertain a quite affectionate remembrance. You were to be sure to go and see him both of you when you came to town— It “would give him real pleasure to see his old patient as your Wife.”

I had a long maundering letter from Jeanie the other week— talking pleasedly of her visit to you— But “Oh my!” (as old Helen6 used to say) into what a habituated state of conjugal felicity Jeanie seems to have fallen!— Her letter is all full of her happiness as Andrews wife—her comforts—her beautiful house—&c &c—even to the comfort and ease of having no prospect of children (!) all is well with Jeanie!7 Her letter left me in the same sort of silent rage I used to feel when Graham of Burnswark8 dilated to me when I first became indigestive—on his pleasures of stomach—on how he “en—ja—yed his breakfast.”— We are off to Addiscombe on Thursday—if the Lady be recovered enough from a cold to quit Bath house—to stay till the 24th— it was settled—

Kind regards to your Wife—

Do you know that my Aunt Elizabeth9 has dislocated her hip?— I fear it is a very serious accident—

Your affectionate

J Welsh Carlyle