April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH ; 5 October 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18441005-JWC-JW-01; CL 18: 230-231


[5 October 1844]

Dearest Babbie

It is really time that you had a letter now—and a good one— You have earned it during the last week—but people do not always get their deserts in this world—which on the whole, is perhaps a mercy for them—so do not you be out of humour that you are not luckier than your neighbours—no good letter can come out of me this day— I cannot even predict when there is a chance of one— Tomorrow however is Sunday and a line you must have now—to keep my own conscience from growing desperate, to say nothing of your coeur sensible [tender heart].

The last three days have been taken up with Mrs Paulet—she and her husband and her daughter Julia, transformed by means of an improvised bonnet, into the strangest little woman, “came in upon me quite promiscuously”1 on Wednesday morning as I was sitting with the pen in my hand in meditation to write— That day they “had ordered their dinner at the Inn”—so they prefered engaging for the next day—which also answered better for Helen's washing and my headach. But they staid the forenoon— Of course with the little man and the little girl—I could get small good of her—so that the first visit passed off ineffectually enough Next day however she came alone soon in the morning having left the girl Julia at the Inn (!) to amuse herself as she could—while Paulet looked after his business—they would come in time for dinner at five which they did— She saw that day Mazzini, old Sterling, Bishop Terrot and Count Krasinski—so that she had pretty good luck— Mazzini seemed to please her greatly—“quite another sort of man from what Geraldine had represented him”— What he thought of her, I have not yet heard— I fancy he liked her because he talked to her a great deal and on the subject of LOVE of all things!—the subject however, it must be owned, was of her own selection2— The following day she came again and I went up to town with her and wandered about till I was sick and sore—

I wonder that when people go to travel they do not restrict their programme to so much as they have ample cash to transact in a comfortable way better to take in half the sights and see them with unfatigued eyes— It is well enough for me to pop about in omnibuses but the Macgregors—the Paulets and so many well off people should really get themselves a carriage for the time of their stay—or at lowest indulge in hackey—coaches— They saw nothing of London but what they could manage with omnibuses and their legs—desperately little— and then they were eternally getting into wrong omnibuses and losing themselves and wasting hours of their time in finding themselves again— Heigh ho!— I wish I were with you at Auchtertool I am so—sleepy! I have had two letters from Plattnauer since his departure— The first highly satisfactory the second more flighty and ominous— Oh that Count of Reichenbach if he would but hasten to him!— I have not yet told you the circumstances of his departure—well I must take another day for it— I am not up to narration at present—Love to Walter and Maggie— Bless you my Babbie

Your affectionate /