October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 7 October 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451007-JWC-TC-01; CL 20: 15-17


Tuesday [7 October 1845]

“Ah”! my Dear! Yes indeed! If I could “quench the Devil” also; you might turn your face homewards with a feeling of comparative security, But Sybilline leaves, Whiskey, Game even, all the means of seduction which I have at my poor command cannot gain him— Still as in the time of old Dr Ritchie, “he goeth about, seeking whom he may devour”1—and does not, as Helen was remarking this morning the Dog did, ever since it had been set at large, “behave just like any other rational being”! One must be content to “stave him off” then better or worse— Against the Devil my “notes” themselves are powerless!2 But here, on the table before me at this moment one would say lay means enough to keep him at bay for a while— first

Two Series of Discourses


1st Christian Humilation
2d The City of God

By C. H. Terrot, D D
Bishop of Edinburgh!!!3

and secondly a
pair of pistols
a percussion lock!

Are not the Fates kind in sending me two such windfalls in one evening?— When I have made myself sufficiently desperate by study of the one, I can blow my brains out with the other! Come what come may; one has always one's City of God left and—one's pistols!—

Meanwhile I am going to dine with Elizabeth Pepoli—she met Darwin here yesterday and asked him to fetch me; and, tho' I made great eyes at him, he answered “with all the pleasure in life”!—and so for want of moral courage to say no on my own basis, I am in for a stupid evening and Italian cookery—but I shall take some sewing with me, and stipulate to [be] brought away early. I have been all day giving the last finish to the China-closet and am shocked this moment by the town clock striking four—before my letter is well begun— I will send it nevertheless—lest you should “take a notion” to be anxious—

I am also under the disagreeable necessity of warning you that you must bring some money— “The thirty pounds I left done already”? No not done absolutely but near it. and yet my living has been as moderate as well could be and my little improvements have all been made off the money that was to have been squandered in Wales4— I wish you had had the paying out at the end of the Quarter instead of the beginning—it is so provoking when I wanted so much to have been praised for my economy to have to say instead you must bring more money! But just take the trouble to see how it has gone—without any mention of victuals at all

£ S D
Your debt to clear off 4. 18. 6
Water rate 6. 6
Church rate 11. 3
Rent 8. 15.
Aldin5 quarter account 5. 8.
Taxes 3. 2. 2½
To Helen of wages 1.
£24. 1. 6

After so prosaic a page as that what more were it possible to write even if I had the time? Ach gott!—

Ever yours— /

Jane Carlyle