July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


JWC TO TC ; 19 July 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580719-JWC-TC-01; CL 34: 54-58


5 Cheyne Row Chelsea [19 July 1858]

There! My Dear! I send you a wonderful communication—a map of your new ‘parish’ and Township in Australia!1 I have spent an hour over the packet, before I could understand what it all meant—the letter accompanying the maps was inserted between them so that it was not discovered at first. There are six copies of this map that I send you, and there is a large coloured map on excessively thick paper professing to be

of the Township of
in the
Parish of Carlyle
Murray District2

to which is affixed the signature of / C Gaven3 Duffy / Minister of Land & Works. This I will not send, it would cost so much,—unless you wish for it at once.

View larger version:
[in this window]
[in a new window]

Plan of the Township of Carlyle

Courtesy of Department of Sustainability and Environment,
Wodonga, Victoria, Australia


Poor Duffy appears by the letter to be very ill—but past the worst4

It is such a beautiful day this! as clear as a bell! and not too warm. And for quiet!—I question if you be nearly as quiet at the Gill! Charlotte is gone for her quarter's holiday—went off at eight in the morning with her nominal Parents5 to Gravesend;6 and I would not have Mrs Newnham come till two oclock, when my dinner would be needed and there might be “knocking at the do-o-r!”— The only sign of life in the house is the incessant chirp of a little ugly brown bird, that I rescued yesterday afternoon from some boys who were killing it—bought of them for twopence—and now I find it cannot feed itself, and I have to put crowdy into its mouth (which is always gaping) with a stick.

I went in an omnibus to Putney7 yesterday evening and came back outside. It is as pleasant as a Barouche and four the top of an Omnibus but the Conductors dont like the trouble of helping one up— When I came home at six, I found Charlotte wildly excited over Mrs Cameron8—who had waited for me more than an hour, played on the piano, and written “a long letter on three sheets of paper”— Certainly she had spoiled three sheets, in telling me that she had come to carry me off to Little Holland House,9 and that she would send back the Carriage for me at nine—and bring me home at eleven—Charlotte told her I had been very ill and was never out late—but that made no difference—the carriage would be sent—only—if I would not come she (Charlotte) must come over to little Holland House and tell them in time to stop the carriage! “It was a long way to send a carriage for nothing” She did not consider it was a long way for my only servant to be sent for nothing!—While I was hesitating about sending—for of course I never dreamt of going—Mr Newberg came to tea—and needing Charlotte at home I found it too absurd that she should have to leave me to get the tea, while she went for Mrs Camerons whim to Holland House!— So I wrote a note and cooly gave it to the Coachman to take back instead of myself— The Tennysons were there and “would be so pleased to see me!” “Alfred was going to Norway and Mrs Tennyson to her Fathers in Lancashire”10 They would not have time to call here— I could not but think the main object in all this was to make me understand there was no outrake for me at Freshwater11— I think it would have been common politeness in Mrs Tennyson to have told me herself something of their plans after sending that message by Woolner and having it half accepted12— And Miss Baring! how very absurd of her to ask me at all when she had no real wish about it—

You are very kind in pressing your present refuge on me, but I will never allow you to either “pig in at Scotsbrig—or to commit yourself to Providence at Dumfries—My greatest comfort all this time has been just knowing you situated according to your needs—in full enjoyment of air, milk, and quiet—Never fear but I will make some arrangement for myself, when it becomes desirable that I should leave London— I am not yet equal to so long a journey as to Scotland,—but I am improving—and taking as much exercise as is good for me—change of air too!

I am going to morrow to Mr Larkins Mothers!13 to spend the day in that beautiful garden from which he brings me SUCH bouquets!— Mr Larkin is to come himself at twelve o'clock and take me14—and the next day Mrs Forster is to come and take me to early dinner in Montague Square—

I have had even an invitation to Ristori's benefit to night!15— Shawls and cloaks to be in readiness the moment I left the box &c &c—and brought home with closed windows, but that of course I screamed at the idea of!16— It was little Mrs Royston who wished to take me—a box having been given her.— So you see I am very kindly seen to—

I have slept better these two nights—and am rather stronger—and my cough is abated— Speaking I find the worst thing for it—— Newberg goes to Kissengen17 next Sunday—

Tait came last night while Newberg was here and the[y]18 contradicted one another with a rudeness! I had not seen Tait for long and he had a guilty look—

Yours ever


John Welsh was no better19 when his mother heard from him at Ardrossan20—thinking of giving up and returning—