August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 31 October 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18421031-JWC-JW-01; CL 15: 155-156


Monday [31 October 1842]


My letter being of rather ancient date (saturday night) I add a line that you may know me, up to Monday, still in the land of the living and the loving— Already (at 12 oclock) have I been up poor wretch to Collier's—in omnibus—respecting those melancholy watches—declined after all—found to be “of inferior quality” so that Mazzini has nothing left for it but to sell them to the French man for 15£—well if he gets the money from him even at that absurd price!—“Virtue its own reward”—was there ever a greater betise [absurdity] than that current among articulate speaking men!— Virtue its own punishment were a maxim much less liable to exception—

Old Sterling came yesterday giving lamentable accounts of “my poor dear wife”—“eats well sleeps well but such shortness of breath”! A Dr, whom they consulted at Dublin, said it proceeded from “her stomach being distended with gass!”—and with something besides gass I shrewdly conjecture!—

The old gentleman in the midst of our tete a tete suddenly dropt silent— I looked round at him—after a minute or two—and saw him with his features all pinched together, his mouth a little open—profoundly asleep—! I thought it one of the most rational and friendly looking modes of transacting a fore-noon visit that I had fallen in with for a good while— He awoke after a quarter of an hour or so exclaiming “gracious God have I been dreaming”? You know best said I—I only know that you have been asleep.—

You may figure the apologies! The Laings male and female1 were also here yesterday—a pretty little thing she is but I think a considerable of a goose— She made the most loving enquiries after you— I told her I had set my heart on your marrying her Father-in-law2— She laughed immoderately but said you were not to be taken in by his assiduities for he was, a very general lover of young ladies— “he said there is so much more freshness about them than older women”—naturally

—Our house is an a sort of climax of irregularity just at present— C orders the dinner at half after four and keeps it waiting till six—goes to bed at two—and the breakfast prolongs itself into midday It is an evil in its way to a punctually disposed person like myself3

Is Miss Gillespie's address simply Miss G. Moffat? I am going to send something by post in the first instance

Return Harriet's letter only—