candlestick

April 1848-March 1849


The Collected Letters, Volume 23


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JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 7 April 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480407-JWC-TC-01; CL 23: 8-9


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE

Friday [7 April 1848]

Yesterday was a decided case of marmalade-making; nothing else could be got done or thought of. At ten in the morning I saw the oranges and sugar weighed—and it was half after eight at night when I made my last visit to the kitchen, and returned with a spoonful of completed marmalade, in a saucer, which Mr Baring and Lady Harriet supped boiling-hot, and pronounced “perfectly excellent” as indeed it is, and such a quantity of it! So that is one job “got thro' with an honourable thro'bearing”1—a Savoy's expedition, in its own way not turned back by a toll-bar! for I assure you I would rather lead “a few brave men” against the Austrians then present myself alone in that kitchen,—amidst the scowls of women in pinafores and suppressed cries of “à bas la systeme [down with the system],”—to give orders and see them obeyed— Mrs Atchison however is fairly got under now—and the kitchen maid would go thro boiling sugar for me—and they are all quite well this morning; in spite of Lady H's prediction that “poor Mrs Atchison would be perfectly knocked up”! on the contrary Mrs Atchison is perfectly radiant this morning with “virtue its own reward”—and came to the drawing room with a pot of marmalade in each hand to return me her “most sincere thanks and obligations for having taught her such a good and beautiful thing.

Myself is brashed [bruised] today not with the marmalade so much as with the cold thro' the night, which kept me awake coughing—tonight I will decidedly realize another blanket— Charles Buller did not appear yesterday; the why not generally known—he is supposed to be “full of anxiety about his family at present”—“Don't his family wish it may get it?”2—Perhaps he may have an interval of comparative peace of mind to day— He possesses a stall at the Opera all the same—but that may be to sooth his anxious breast.

The letters you sent were one from that horrid german governess of Mrs Paulets' and the big one from Geraldine enclosed in some lines from Frank “Jerry”3 being still in bed and having sent him the letter to seal—she had been having a great day of company— Miss Cushman, Miss Hayes, and William Edward4—and W E now likes Miss Cushman so much better that he had invited her and Miss Hayes to go with Geraldine and Frank and Dilberoglue5 to Rawdon on Friday for some days!— The man will ruin himself in mind and estate— And I will ruin myself in body if I sit here any longer without a fire— I have already rheumatism in one shoulder—the cough thro the night went into that after breakfast— I will go down now, and ask for some warm broth— I will “upon my honour—”

Tell John with my love that I have had a letter from Plattnauer—in which he speaks most fervently of him and indicates that he (Plattnauer) will on no account go to the Emperor of Germany unless we all “consent to accompany him”—it is a beautiful letter—that makes one ask whether a slight dash of insanity may not be a gain—to some natures6

Ever yours /

J W C