July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


JWC TO HENRY LARKIN ; 16 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580816-JWC-HL-01; CL 34: 131-133


Bay House Alverstoke Monday [16 August 1858]

My dear Mr Larkin—nothing is badly arranged here except the Post. I had opened my desk to write this note yesterday morning, when it occurred to me that till 5 of Monday, no letter could leave for London, according to the actual arrangements!! Plainly neither of the Miss Barings has ever had lovers—a lover! the slightest expectation of a declaration by post would have sufficed to change all this!

Will you, at your first convenience give Charlotte six more shillings. I allow her eight shillings a-week with et ceteras. and that will make her right,—up to Saturday, when, I return, please god. I am wanted to stay till the 23d (Monday) but I think I had best get home this week; that I may the sooner be ready to start for——Scotland! yes indeed Mr Larkin! to such pitch of courage (in the groom's sense of the word)1 have I arrived!

Mr C is to sail from Newcastle to Hamburg tomorrow—may be absent still four or five weeks; having then nobody to do for at home (for I dont consider myself indispensable to Nero and the Sparrow) why should I sit there “like owl in desert” sinking down into depths of blue-devilism again!— Especially as I have a dear little cousin2 so bent on my coming that she will meet me at Carlisle “to have my bed and tea ready for me”!!—

Now dear Mr Larkin! Dont you foresee what will happen?—dont you feel as sure as if I had already told you; that I will be wanting next to know about trains to Carlisle—the times? the fares? Yes! it is a fact! I want you to riddle that out of Bradshaw for me! But what you can't be foreseeing, the least in the world, is, that I shall also want you to find out about trains to Liverpool! and then about trains from Liverpool to Carlisle! Some weeks ago there was a train from London to Liverpool, the fare by which, first class, was only a pound. If this continues; I have been thinking I might go that way, and take a nights rest at Liverpool, for about the same money as going all the way from London to Carlisle at “one fell” rush!

You will help me, with your miraculous capacity of understanding Bradshaw, when I come— Shall I see you at tea, at six o'clock on Saturday evening? Dont mind writing—I shall hear when I arrive.

Please to tell Charlotte she need not be putting down the drawing room carpet. She wrote to me the other day, to say that she “thought Mr Larkin a very nice gentleman, and the house was still on the same spot”!!— You need not prepare her for my second Exodus. I will break it to her with feminine tenderness on my return. Poor Child! I hope she wont go to the bad, with all this cessation of work and of supervision!

Your watch ticks loving compliments, and would like to known when it is to be restored to its native fob? like the Pope at Avignon “what surprises it most is to find itself here”!3 I promise it the joy of seeing you on Saturday evening—But whether it going home with you; that will depend! The other Lady-visitor's4 watch took to “jibbing”! a very fine gold repeater, and she, rash woman, took it and left it with a Jeweller at Fareham;5 tho' I took her aside and told her that the man was a knave and had no knowledge of watches—The two facts were plainly written for me in his eyes. But she wouldnt hear “the voice of the charmer,”6 left the watch, went for it on the appointed day, found it going, paid seven and sixpence for it, brought it home and found it: stopt! And now she is always half-an-hour too late for breakfast—tho she has a Lady's maid to go and look at the Hall-clock for her!

Do you see in the newspapers how many women have been drowning their children? It seems an epidemic—one woman said she thought “her Husbands manner to her, at dinner was not quite so kind as usual”7— “Consequently” she took his children and drowned them!—

Yours affectionately

Jane W Carlyle