April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 5 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440705-JWC-TC-01; CL 18: 104-105


Friday [5 July 1844]


no Times came yesterday; it came today along with Creek's and your letter—and so yesterday morning I was vaixed—for I had come down to breakfast like a run-down watch and was relying on your “Deticated attentions”1 to wind me up—something at the Macgregor-dinner, the Indian-ale—I fancy—had been carrying on a guerilla-warfare in my Interior all the night—and also in Helen's as afterwards appeared—so that I had got no sleep and—the post-hour yielding nothing to cheer me I spent a most cheerless day—lying on the sofa—hemming a frill—incapable of even the small exertion of writing you a word of commiseration over your blue-pill—which was however sufficientlypresent to my imagination— It was a regular wet day too, and the patter-pattering of the rain, and yawning-aspect of the Alives beside me produced altogether a sort of enchantment which there was no use striving against.

Last night I slept very well and am to be shaken up presently with an excursion to a lighthouse,—unless it rains again, of which I am not without hope—for a pic nic with Gambardella for its presiding Genius, does not delight me in prospect—indeed I refused myself to this “little excitement” until the rest were getting quite vexed at me—and so— here goes! for “the welfare of others!”— Blessed are they who hope nothing for they shall not be disappointed!

Tomorrow, my uncle proposes taking us all over the Chester—and that I shall like well enough— I go to Seaforth on Monday it is to be hoped I shall be able to practise the virtue of silence till that day and then—good gracious—what a quantity of liberalism I will pour out of me!— My Uncle would not be so bad with his Toryism if it were not for Alick egging him up—his feelings of an honest man are always struggling against his prejudices, but the very misgivings he has about the infalibility of his party make him only an angrier partizan—and nothing can be more provoking than the things he occasionally says—for instance he told me yesterday that “Sir James had said he only opened one of Mazzinis letters that if Mazzini said he opened more—he was a damed lying rascal—and every body knew whether to believe the word of a gentleman like Sir James or of a beggarly refugee—turned out of his own country for misconduct—damn these people! if they got leave to find a shelter here what right had they to insult the Queen by insulting her Alies!!!” Fancy me swallowing all that without answer—to be sure the only alternative was to hold my peace altogether or produce a collision that must have ended in my calling a coach!

The Macgregors looked a good deal better at home— They have a very nice house—not too fine but perfectly got up—and she seems to be a good manager and to feel in that sphere more free and kindly— I noticed a good many things in the drawing-room bagged up2—perhaps they have bagged up the best of their interior furniture also—from mistaken ideas of economy—

You will have got soft water now to shave with? God bless you dear—kind regards to Helen

Ever yours