January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 9 May 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430509-JWC-JW-01; CL 16: 161-162


[9 May 1843]

My sweetest

Here is a letter for Walter1 which I consign to your keeping. not knowing his proper address— To yourself, I have hardly any time remaining to write—Plattnauer having been cheated out of his Sunday visit by a sudden whim of the Marchionesses that he should go with her to church—made himself ammends by putting his baby-Lord in a street cab this wet morning and bringing him here for exercise!2 The dearest, prettiest kissablest little Lord it is that ever I set my eyes on! no wonder he always calls him “my boy”—he is worth the appropriating— Now he is gone I must go out on diverse business—the most noteworthy an investigation about houses— Since it became wholly indifferent to me, whether we remained in this house or not, Carlyle seems to have been growing in attachment towards it—even the accursed piano which “must be got rid of” does not always d[ri?]ve his imagination forth into new streets or a new country, but only ON TO THE ROOF—or up to the top of the garden! One day he is for building a sort of well deafened observatory aloft—and the next he will build a good-sized room at the end of the garden!— But preparatory to so strong a measure, there would be need of our having the house on some other principle than from six months to sixmonths.— It would be best he says to buy the house!!!—this house which he has a thousand times over sworn to be “out of before he was a month older” as if his life depended on being out of it!— Now however he wants to buy it—and then he will build the room in the garden—and “throw the Library and my bedroom into “one reasonable drawing room”— He would like he says “to have a soirée now and then”!! “once a fortnight or so”!— Is he going mad? or is it I who have been mad all this while in fancying that he disliked company—and cared nothing about “appearances”? If I cannot get any satisfaction about this house I am to enquire after one in the same street—it seems we are attached even to the street!— I am at my wits end! my bedroom turned into a drawing room—soirees once a fortnight with one maid servant? The realization of these wild dreams is still a great way off—but I confess they appal me! And this particular day I am not ill to appal—for I went to Charles Bullers to dine yesterday—the father and mother are returned3—and instead of dining at six as I had laid my account with we were kept starving till eight—and eating then made me sick—and Mrs Buller insisted on my telling three long stories which I had told to her at Troston—and when I went to bed I could not sleep and today I am “heavy and displeased”— Thank heaven John is not here to “aggravate” me!

So goodby to you love till a more auspicious moment— — A kiss to my uncle for the envelope—which was anything but a comforting sight to me! only do not tell him that!— — I had a furious quarrel with old Sterling on Sunday gone a week— I went to dine there with Mrs Anthony4—at her earnest entreaty—her husband having left her with the old goose alone— Well the way he took of testifying his gratitude was to fall foul of my husbands book which I knew that he had not read— and utter the most monstrous impertinencies about it— I gave him of course as good—or a pretty deal better than he brought and came away—abruptly—telling him that he must learn good manners before I visited his house or received him into mine again— He had been in fact brutally insolent—as his nature is when he loses command of himself—two days after he stopped his carriage a few doors off—came to the door on foot—rung the bell—handed in a letter and walked away miserable in spite of Helen's officious entreaties that he would “come in and rest himself”— I enclose the letter—to show you what sort of arrant fools are the Rulers of our Israel!5 Ever your own Jane C