August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 11 September 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420911-JWC-JW-01; CL 15: 84-85


[11 September 1842]

Alas no! poor Babbie, we are not to be with you tomorrow! Nor next day nor the next again—not till Thursday or Friday1— What can I say but that the fault is not mine!— I had “resisted the reasonings and solicitations of the whole family, severally, and together— My husband must be home to his work—his conscience would not let him go idle any longer”—this was the reason which Carlyle and I had agreed upon between us to alledge if we were hard pressed— He himself had stood to it when I was there—but yesterday he remained alone with Mrs Buller while I was dressing for the dinner and on coming down I was assailed with “Why Mrs Carlyle it is you I find that are insisting on this going away—your husband is persuadable but you put him up to the vile atrocity of going on Monday.”— “I thought” said I to him very much discomfited that you were determined to go on Monday”?—“determined” says he—why—I had not determined anything about it—and I suppose you have not engaged yourself to anybody—“Yes I said I have written to Jeannie—” O there will be time to let her know—and if I am home in time to get started at my work the next week it will do well enough for me!— Here I was you see caught in a trap—for I had never alledged my own need to get home but only his— And when Mrs Buller had urged me if he would go on Monday to stay behind myself a week or two I had merely declared that having come for me he could not be sent away without his errand. Besides that I hate that dawdling uncertain sort of work, for its own sake— I am really anxious to be back both on your account and my own—especially since Helen has got a cold and Don Carlos is finished, I dislike your being any longer alone—I know by experience what sort of thing Helens colds are—such impatience to be well coupled with such neglect of all precautions to get well!— And then for my own part of it, the present manner of being here does not suit me like the past These lions Mr C and Mr C. B.2 turn all the house topsyturvy—we have late dinners—dressing—visitors—such a running up stairs and down, out and in—such a ringing of bells—and the [entire?] County looks as if it were following the course of the house— Lady Cullum “so envious of the good fortune of the Bunburys”! &c &c &c—and over all a dark and pretty generally dripping sky!

Mrs Buller felt too ill yesterday to go3—and I poor wretch had to set off in state with only Carlyle—Charles went in the forenoon to get some shooting before dinner— They made a monstrous fuss about me and I chattered chattered!—but God knows what about— I felt all the while in a sort of state of somnambulism—and today I am too wearied for writing you a full and faithful narrative of the conversation— Charles has undertaken to magnetize me provided I will give him an hour and not laugh; nor make any noise all the while—so perhaps I have supernatural revelations to report you next time— Your affectionate cousin