August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 2 September 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420902-JWC-JW-01; CL 15: 64-66


[2 September 1842]

Today also my excellent Babbykin I must put you off with a mere scrap—for I am not what Mazzini calls “responsible”— The cold I imbibed into my system yesterday, followed by another sleepless, entirely wretched night, has given me as bad a headach as I can well carry,—out of my bed— But you will be glad to learn that Carlyle got an inside place and was picked up at Bury in a state of perfect dryness and considerable vigour— The rain abating some what—and having in vain tried upon Regy a cap and woolen shawl—those infallible symptoms of a fire-needing human being—I resolved to have the carriage closed and go with Mr Buller to meet my husband, thinking that the motion with the help of a warm bottle in the carriage might put a little heat into me—would not be so bad at least as sitting shivering at home— I had met the New Cratylus1 riding in Levermere park the night before—odd!—two persons issued out of the same Haddington to meet, each taking excercise in Livermere Park!— I had saluted him with unwonted urbanity— the creature looked so innocently delighted at the encounter!,—and informed him of what was expected from the Cornwallis the following day—“upon which hint he acted2 and was on the ground under an umbrella at our arrival: so my Husband was most abundantly welcomed to Bury! Cratylus would have us dine with him—or return to dine with him—coming on Saturday to urge that thing—vainly I should hope—but do you know all the while who I mean by that Greek appellative which I am not perhaps even spelling aright?— I mean the horrid Donaldson—who “with his foot” (not) “on his native heath”3 but on his acquired Bury, is much less horrid however than you saw him at Chelsea— Carlyle is in high heart this morning—was fortunate enough to have fallen on a quiet night, for his first—slept very fairly—breakfasted more than fairly—and is now off on foot to Thetford a town some seven miles off—his contentment with the place verges on the ecstatic— Regy has asked him twice over why he did not bring “Miss Jeannie”— Poor Regy! he is developping into something not so bad—if he would but as his Mother suggests “starve himself”; he might indulge dreams of Miss Jeannies—without absolutely distraction— He says he will give me some honey-comb when I go away—and will send me some walnuts when they are ripe—and that he will have asparagus ready for me when I come again next year—and that I had better take Mr Lofts house which is to let and stay here altogether—and he told his Mother privately that if Mrs Davis (the house keeper) went away he was meaning to ask me to send him one in her place!! poor Regy I question if he ever before lavished as many marks of affection on any woman except his own Mother. Mrs Buller is kind to me beyond expression— Not as people are kind to their visitors generally but as if I were the daughter of the house— She speaks to me so out of her heart as women of the world rarely speak at all—and hardly ever to a person so much younger than themselves— When I came home yesterday I found her with a large fire in the drawing room altho it hurts her breathing— She had heard of my warm bottle—and scolded me for my “scrupulosity and too little selfishness” which was very amiable she said but kept me very uncomfortable in this world— It is all she knows about it. I often think I am just the most selfish person in existence—

with all my faults your affection cousin anyhow J. Welsh

Kind regards to Helen—tell her to look to the moths and the carpets