April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


JWC TO JOSEPH NEUBERG ; 22 July 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480722-JWC-JN-01; CL 23: 77-78


5 Cheyne Row / Chelsea / 22d July 1848

Dear Mr Neuberg

Your note and gifts drew tears from me, tho I am not much given to weeping; but I find myself at a loss how to thank you in words. A proof so sacred of your esteem is indeed more to be felt than spoken about. I will only say that, in presenting me with these memorials of one so dear to you,1—after having seen me, not merely imagined me and speculated about me as Carlyle's Wife,—you have done me an honour for which I am deeply grateful; since I know you would not have bestowed them on me without feeling in your heart that I could understand their moral value, and should accept them and prize them with other feelings than such as attach to merely beautiful gifts.

Come and see us whenever you are in London. We both took to you from the first evening;2 for me, I have either a natural or acquired affinity to the sorrowful; that a man have a great and enduring sorrow is enough always to make me his friend. provided that he do not weakly suffer it to master him, and spill his Life. Indeed it is only the sorrowing that I can understand and sympathize with; the people who are “at ease in Zion”3 surpass my powers of comprehension, and I fly from them as much as the forms of Society will allow4— So it was, that I could never get up the least interest or affection for Emerson; for all so amiable as he is. And so it is, that I am yours, comparitive stranger as you are to me,

with affection and esteem

Jane W. Carlyle