August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 28 December 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18421228-JWC-JW-01; CL 15: 254-255


[28 December 1842]


If all went the right road you would receive a parcel this morning which you would not be able to make either head or tail of— Not a line of explanation along with it! and carriage to pay for other people's things!—but surely your imagination would exculpate me from being at the bottom of such a piece of blockheadism—altho' my handwriting was mixed up with it! When John dined here on Sunday he declared his intention of sending you a copy of Schiller—and politely suggested that if I had “any little thing to go it might be sent along with the books.” I thought it would be a good opportunity of returning the Seaforth manuscript—and added the packet for Sophy1—taking it for granted that he would pay the carriage, otherwise his offer was a sheer betise [absurdity]. Last night he was here again to dine with—Alfred Tennyson! (Ah Babby what you have lost) and having a scientific curiosity to get to the bottom of that matter of rail-way carriage—also to form some notion of what I was indebted to him. I asked—“What did you pay for that parcel”? “Pay for it! how do you mean”?— “The carriage to Liverpool? What was it?” “I never dreamt of paying the carriage? What puts it into your head I should have paid the carriage?”— “Why nothing—only that it would never have entered into my head not to pay it! Then did you tell Jeannie how I came to send her my parcel?” “No—I had not a moments leisure today to write any note along with it”!— In fact that man does things like nobody else even his kind actions are stript of all graciousness by the stolid way he sets about them. As to the books do not flatter yourself they are a love-token—he does not love you the least bit—loves no woman—never did—and never will—not tho' Trojan Helen should return from the Shades to tempt him—“Accursed vegetable that he is”! as old Sterling said of him one day—“not a man at all but a walking Cabbage”!! Indeed if he were going to dream of setting about trying to persuade himself to consider whether by possibility he could bring himself to get up a feeling of love for one of the family—I rather think it would be for “Miss Welsh”2—not you— Whenever I speak in your praise he interrupts me always with—“but Miss Welsh dont you think Miss Welsh is an interesting sort of person”?— “Not a doubt of it Sir”! Yesterday he never so much as asked me how I did— On Sunday he asked “do you continue to take the pills”? “Yes—pointedly.” “And do you feel any better?” “Today I feel a little better than usual, but all the last week my side has been MORE painful rather than less so”— “Well—in six weeks hence or so—they may begin perhaps to do you some little good”—end of the consultation. Even Carlyle declared that night “such indifference was entirely unjustifiable”—six weeks!—next time it will be two months—and then three—but before then I shall have sent his pills to Beelzebub the Father of lies— I send Mrs Russels letter3—that you may judge of my prospects— She asks me to pay her a visit—visit her at Thornhill! Oh dear dear!— If that be a possibility even; it lies yet far off!— Helen4 I am sure had no notion that I am thinking of supplying her place— She is very up-making at present— She thinks she may part from me perhaps but never that I will be so blind to my own interest as to part from her— Bless you darling

Your own


Take precious care of Mrs Paulets parcel— They have no other copy of their MS