April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


JWC TO JOSEPH NEUBERG; 15 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490715-JWC-JN-01; CL 24: 122-124


Rawdon / 15 July [1849].

Eight letters came to me this morning, and the only “satisfactory” one among them is yours; still, it made me—cry (!) your letter—why; I can't tell you; I don't know it myself, nor particularly care to know. I have a wholesome terror of analysis, it has spoiled for me so many beautiful things in my life! Enough that these tears were of the good sort—not bitter, nor yet weak—I write to thank you for them— All the rest I have to say must ‘wait’ till I can “imagine” myself again sitting with you on the garden-seat at Rowsley—isolated from all the noisy disturbances of the World, smoking cigarittos and dreaming beautifully without having gone to sleep— Just now I have no leisure either material or moral—most of this great heap of letters must be answered by todays post—one is from a person unknown—a bookseller seemingly who “having heard that I am favourable to emigration”(!) writes to beg that I will “contribute some pieces of poetry for that end!” me! Then the Paulets are here and Mrs P is a woman “born to distrusts as the sparks fly upwards1—and every minute that I spend in my own room she will consider as a personal affront—as indication that I have taken an antipathy to her.—“the living on earth have much to bear”!

My Barnsley friend2 was very kind to me, and if she failed to “make me happy” under the circumstances; she made me at least much obliged to her.— I was in the coupé of that train—and alone to Normanton when the door was flung open, rather impertinently, I thought and a man jumped in, and sat down beside me, and said; “Well! how are you”? and I looked at his face and it was Forster!

Tell your dear little sister, with a kiss from me, that it is “all right”—the missing things were after all in my carpet-bag—and please thank your brother3 for his punctuality—

I send you my character to read,4 which please return to me here, that I may show it to Mr C—I find it as like any daughter of Eve as me—so my faith in phrenology has not risen—to say that I have “no obstinacy!” & that I have “a good memory for periods”—I who can never remember so much as what year we are in!— Moreover I send you one of your Countrywoman's love-letters to me, which please to burn—I want you to tell me if this be a common style of female friendship in your country—I like it immensely—for the curiosity of the thing!5

Good by—God bless you—I am not in the exceptional mood of happiness I was in while under your and your sister's providence—in fact I am horribly sad this morning—

I shall be here till the end of the week—a meeting about Rome is to “come off” on Tuesday evening6 and Marioni is invited to come and stay here—Nonsense!— On Friday or Saturday I must set out, God help me! for that homeless home!—must go where it seems to me there is nothing awaiting me but two lonely graves7— Write me two words of benediction with that document—

Affectionately yours

Jane Carlyle