January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


JWC TO MARGARET WELSH ; 15 July 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420715-JWC-MAWE-01; CL 14: 226-227


Friday [15 July 1842]

My dear Maggie,

It was a good thought in you to send me the little purse—and I feel very grateful to you for it— This last birthday was very sad for me as you may easily suppose—very unlike what it was last year and [all?] former years—and I needed all the heartening kind souls could give me—but by your kindness and that of others the day was got over with less of a foresaken feeling than could have been anticipated. Only think of my husband too having given me a little present! he who never attends to such nonsenses as birthdays—and who dislikes nothing in the world so much as going into a shop to buy anything—even his own trowsers and coats; so that to the consternation of Cockney-tailors I am obliged to go about them— Well he actually risked himself in a Jewlers shop and bought me a very nice smelling-bottle!— I cannot tell you how wae his little gift made me as well as glad—it was the first thing of the kind he ever gave me in his life—in great matters he is always kind and considerate, but all these little attentions which we women attach so much importance to he was never in the habit of rendering to any one—his up-bringing and the severe turn of mind he has from nature had alike indisposed him towards them—and now the desire to replace to me the irreplacable makes him as good in little things as he used to be in great1

Helen's2 box arrived this morning—so like a Templand box!—alas alas—those preserves— I had thought about making some all this time—and never could bring myself to set about it—it was not only to make them but to learn to make them for me—and I had finally settled it with myself that I must be stronger before I did such out of the way things— So that in every way Helens present is welcome—most of all welcome for the kind consideration it shows for my helplessness and the quantity of really disagreeable labour she has imposed on herself for my sake— Give her my kindest love and say I will write in a day or two to herself— I have been meaning to write to her every day this week back, but the pigs have always run thro'3 the good intertention— Jeanie expresses surprise at the fancy of “sending coffee to Chelsea”—but for my share I find the ‘fancy’ extremely reasonable —considering that when I was in Liverpool I brought coffee from there to Chelsea—and a very good speculation it turned out— Thank my Uncle for his golden kiss— I am thinking seriously what to do with it—as I never eat snaps [gingerbread biscuits]—and besides would rather invest such an amount of capitol in some-thing of a permanent character that might remind me of him more agreeably than by an indegestion—but for my life I cannot fix upon any thing that I need—and to buy some-thing that I feel to be superfluity is so little in my way!— I think I shall let it lie in the purse for good luck till winter, and then buy something particular cozzy to put about my throat—

As to “Miss Jeanie's” return I can only tell you that neither we nor anybody hereabouts shows any symptoms of “tiring of her”—the first person to tire, I imagine will be herself— Her picture is come home from the framemaker and looks very fine indeed in its gilt ornimentality— I think it perfectly like and a beautiful little picture withal, wherein however I differ from many persons who say it “is not flattered enough” as if a picture must needs be flattered to be what it ought to be—

We went down the water last night to take tea with the Chaplain of Guy's Hospital4—found him and his wife in the country and had to return tealess—rather belated and extremely cold—the consequence of which betise is that today I am hoarse—with a soreish head and soreish throat—so you will excuse my horrible writing

God bless you all— Ever your affectionate Cousin

Jane Carlyle