April 1848-March 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 23


JWC TO JULIE SALIS SCHWABE; 30 January 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490130-JWC-JSSC-01; CL 23: 213-215


5 Cheyne Row / Chelsea Tuesday [30 January 1849]

My dear Mrs Schwabe

I was very glad indeed to receive a note from you. I should regret that you came at all; had our acquaintance been to give just one cry in the world and then return “into the womb of uncreated night”!1 Your next visit to London will be, I hope in milder weather, when I may follow my inclinations without risk of laying myself up, which Geraldine can tell you, it is mighty easy for me to do. That monday was dreadfully raw and cold, and my throat a little sore; or decidedly I should have been with you “after four-oclock,” as I rose in the morning fully minded to go.2

Your patronage of Colonel Fitzgibbon, is about as gratifying to me as to himself. Mr C and I have talked about him to all our official, and professedly benevolent friends till our tongues have been wearing smaller in our heads, and with no earthly result or prospect of result, and here you descend like “a Goddess out of a Machine”3 to benefit him precisely in the way most gratifying to his feelings by buying and circulating his pamphlet4—above all by circulating it—for this Education-Theory is the good old mans hobby which he rides with a sublime superiority to all considerations of profit and loss—and yet he must have, at lowest, bread and water enough to keep life in him or he could not ride long. It is a shame to our Government—only that our Government is pretty well blasé on shame—that this man who certainly saved Toronto from being burnt by the Rebels and Sir Francis Head from being put to death5—if that indeed were any benefit to the country—should be defrauded of the insignificant reward voluntarily promised him for his services.6 It was to obtain that by personal remonstrance, that he came to England some eighteen months ago, and he is further off obtaining it now than the first day: for Charles Buller, the only official Man who recognised the injustice done him, and who meant to make a stir on his behalf,7 no longer lives to befriend him or any one— It is a most romantic and touching history poor Fitzgibbons which I will tell you the first long tete a tete we have together—if it do not appear in print beforehand; for having delivered himself of his darling pamphlet he is now consoling his lonely hours by writing his Life— And he will do it very well—for he has told me great pieces of it with a power of language quite extraordinary in a man who commenced as a private soldier with no more education than other Irish peasants—

He promises to bring me the pamphlets tomorrow—but I will not put off writing till they come as I have several engagements on hand that may take up all my time tomorrow and next day

I returned Mrs Cobden's call yesterday but found her out— Nothing on earth can be more preposterous than the London calling system—unless indeed the avowed end and aim of it be to miss people—every body being only expected to call for every body at the same hours, so every body of course finds every body out— I have trained most of my friends to come to me as soon as possible after breakfast— Will you give my kind remembrance to Mr Schwabe— most truly yours / Jane Carlyle