August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH; 10 June 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470610-JWC-JW-01; CL 21:226-228.


10th June [1847]

Dearest Babbie

Another letter from you so soon—long too—tho' keeping wholly on the outside of things— And, for the rest, containing not a word of remonstrance on my silence, could not but reach my heart; seeing it is not absolutely turned to stone yet— My heart however, for the moment, is “sair held doon wi the Bubbly jock1 in shape of a gaity-loving visitor— Geraldine has been here for a fortnight and ever since she came I have somehow found myself “made like unto a wheel”2— What a different visit from her last when she got nowhere—and administered emetics to Helen!—and how different from poor Cousin Helen's visit in Winter! On the strength of Zoe every body now invites her along with us, or is charmed to have her brought, and she seems to think it quite in the course of nature that I should accept every invitation that promises her the slightest entertainment— Several times I have felt ready to protest and declare upon my honour I will go on no longer with this racket—and then I remember how indefatigable she was in getting me into Cotton mills Foundries &c &c in Manchester which were probably just as great a weariness to her as the soirees operas &c are to me here. She came she said only for ten days—and ten days of doing society I had felt it possible to undertake but she has remained without remark for as much longer and my strength moral and physical is used up while hers seems still in full force— Happily John Carlyle is delighted to rush about with her in the forenoons after the fashion you know—if it were not for that assistance I must have struck work—

Within the last week we have dined with a fine Party at the Macreadys, where was Jenny Lind—and upwards of a hundred people more or less notable in the evening,3—then we breakfasted at Rogers's—on whose breakfasts I have long been blasée—moi— To Covent Garden Opera the same night—a box having been presented to us by Forster!—Then two nights ago a ball (!!) at Mrs Procters4—where my felicity consisted in being half suffocated and in introducing my young Lady—whom I had had in the first instance to dress for the occasion— on Sunday morning we are to Breakfast with Monckton Milnes—betwixt this and then there will be tea drinking with Mrs Buller &c &c— Sunday however shall finish the toil— On Monday Geraldine goes down into Essex to stay some time with Miss Darby5— She means to leave her large trunk here and I dare say to return to stay and lionize a little more—but I shall not ask her to return—C is wearied to death of the racket tho' he makes no complaint having about as much separate visiting elsewhere to his own share—but such a life would soon kill me off— Today my head is aching like to split—but I would not wait longer to thank you for your second letter such an improvement on your later habits—and also for the beautiful little arm-covers—which were the very thing I was in want of— I was on the point of making a pair of muslin and thought how ill they would look beside the pretty net you sent me long ago—

Poor little Sophy!—what a sad death that is— I never was intimate enough with Mrs Martin to feel her death as any of you must feel it—but her loss to Sophy one can easily conceive—and her own history wound up in this way by death—from pure moral exhaustion one would say—just when her worst difficulties seemed passed and a more serene future opened to her—is very sad to think of— Why such innocent hearted well meaning women should be thrown into such harsh complications and snuffed out just when they have worked themselves clear is a question one might ask—vainly of course!—

Good by Dear— I can write no more—for the head of me is too bad for anything

Love to Walter—

Ever affectionately yours

Jane Carlyle