July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


TC TO JWC ; 13 July 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580713-TC-JWC-01; CL 34: 41-42


The Gill, 13 july, 1858—

Dearest, take a very short Note from me; for the doxology is hanging at my nose,1 and it is time I were out getting back my heat, whh has suffered by the opened windows & sedentary fiddlings in this grey windy day. For the rest I am very well; and in such spirits as I have not known for a week past! You may judge whether I was eagerly expecting yr Letter, and whether I was glad in reading it. The week of misery I can now think is near ending; that horrible “Brighton Adventure”2 about summed up, and the damages of it paid. My poor Jeannie getting back to her poor normal state;—writing like her own self again: certainly I have not had such a message by post for months, I might say years! Thank God;—as I do sincerely “with the sentient heart,” whether piously “with the spiritual,” to the due extent or not. And rejoice with me, my little woman; for this day, were it ten times colder, is a right glad and good one!— Only take care, too, take care; no more of these relapsings, if you please,—at least not till I come back to be beside you.

I hope you will now get out to the Country, and do one of those excursions you used to speculate of. If thy Bay House come to perfection, well, right well; but if it do not, you must contrive another. Wd not Mrs George3 at Richmond simply change with you, for a week? That, after all, might be the handiest, after all. And you wd find Richmond pretty much real “Country,”—in all things except the quiet of it, perfectly real; and might have fine walks and sittings in the sun, and in good quiet terms,—especially if John were left with you while his Mother was enjoying Town-life. But this latter clause, I suppose, is futile; poor John being off northward.4 Indeed, I know nothing; and cannot counsel, can only wish.— If the Bay Hse aspects do not please you at last, you must even give them up. “Dignity, Mr Arnot” is much my mind too; the rather as any sacrifice of it might make the visit distasteful to you (in secret), and therefore unprofitable. Scan it strictly, calculate all things well; and if it is thoroughly suitable, how glad shall I be! I guess too you may be right abt the Tennysons; if the poor Lady is unwell, it will much obstruct on both hands,—but I do not think there is any doubt of her or his desire to see you there: keep assured of that, too. On the whole, Richd wd be a pis aller [last resort] worth considering? And let us hope, next year, we may have perhaps some scheme adjusted rendering us independent of “invitations,” and superseding all this weary haggling, whh one is so little fit for when one is really ill. And again I say Take care, take care.

These “Notes” on Life at Chelsea are capital; the Picture of Botkin (coming on me in such a mood too) seemed unsurpassable for fun & truth recogniseable thro' it. To all appearance he is a Calmuck5 (the “Cossacks” are fine Polish-looking fellows, I believe); he wd be thrown into paroxysms of embarrasst, and his agitatn wd be extreme, poor soul— The poor Aitkens too, poor Bess & dilettante David! Under the frosts of Time, they come hovering like ghosts upon one, that kind of human phenomena.

I went to Dumfries yesterday; and had such an Afternoon—Ach Gott! But it is all over now; and I am well & happy this day; and make everybody happier by telling my good news. Jean was unweariedly diligent, patient almost beyond human; I cannot think of that witht a fine kind of feeling whh brightens the chaos of accompaniment the mean problem &c &c. But 3 snips6 (⅓ of a man) are steadily sewing, and all their material lies round them: basta [enough].— One other bulletin (return of post to this), and then I will let you off,—if you be good. Adieu, dear little woman T. C.