August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


JWC TO TC ; 25 June 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580625-JWC-TC-01; CL 33: 251-253


5 Cheyne Row Chelsea / Friday [25 June 1858]

“And the evening and the morning were the first day”!1— “Let alone”; with a sort of vengeance! Exhausted human nature could not desire more perfect letting alone!— It was wonderful to reflect, while breakfasting at nine, that you had probably already breakfasted at The Gill in Scotland! After all; Railways are a great thing! only inferior to “the Princess of China's” “flying bed,2 Prince Houssains “flying carpet,” and Fortunatus's “wishing cap”!3 Transported over night from here to there!—from Chancellor's dungheap,4 the “retired Cheesemonger's dogs,5 and twopence worth of nominal cream, away to “quiet,” “fresh air,” and “milk without limit”! in one night!— If it weren't for the four fat men in the carriage with you, wouldn't it be like something in a Fairy Tale?

Dont let your enjoyment of “the Country” be disturbed by thoughts of me still “in Town.” I wont stay here longer than I find it good for me. But what I feel to need at present is, above all things human and divine, rest from “mental worry”!6 and no where is there such fair outlook of that for me, as just at home, under the present conditions— “The cares of Bread7 have been too heavy for me lately—and the influx of “cousins”8 most wearing! and to see you constantly discontented and as much so with me apparently as with all other things, when I have neither the strength and spirits to bear up against your discontent, nor the obtuseness to be indifferent to it, that has done me more harm than you have the least notion of— You have not the least notion what a killing thought it is, to have put into one's heart, gnawing there day and night, that one ought to be dead, since one can no longer make the same exertions as formerly!—that one was taken only “for better”—not by any means “for worse”! and in fact, that the only feaseable and dignified thing that remains for one to do is to just die, and be done with it!9

Better, if possible, to recover some health of body and mind you say—Well yes!—if possible!— In that view I go with Neuberg this evening to view a field of hay!

Mrs Welsh did not come yesterday—only a note from her to say she and John10 would be here on Saturday afternoon. Her journey to Scotland was “all up” she said—but no reason given. Not a word about the dear horse!11 So I wrote to bid her remember to bring the receipt for him on Saturday. I shall regret his being sent for—for I forsee that if he goes he will be left behind as the shortest way of settling the matter.

I have not spoken to a soul since you left but Charlotte12— Only Lady Airlie called yesterday, and I was out— Charlotte is as kind and attentive as possible, and her speech is remarkably sensible. She was observing yesterday morning that “Master looked rather dull at going away,” and I cant say, she added, that you look particularly brilliant(!) since his departure!!"

I have got Mrs Newnhams13 little sick daughter,14 lying out on the green today, reading Fairy Tales—to her intense delight! Our green to her is grander than the Grange grounds to us!

No letters for you but one from Oxford requiring information about India15

Nero is much astonished that you do not come down in the mornings to take him out! He runs up stairs and then down to me, and stares up in my face saying as plainly as possible “did you ever?!”—

Give them at the Gill my kind regards—

Yours ever J W C