April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 18 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490719-JWC-TC-01; CL 24: 134-135


Benrydden / 19th July [1849]

The spirit moves me to write a few lines in the most preposterous circumstances—I am at the Water-cure place—have just dined at the public table—and am now laid out on a remarkable sofa, in the Dr's private room, where I am going to be exceptionally regaled with coffee— I have made them give me this paper on my knees and Dr Nicol1 is holding the ink bottle to me—

Your letter dated the 17th found me at Rawdon this morning breakfasting with Mrs Paulet and Marioni!— I had been expecting it rather impatiently—not that you do not write “oftener than I deserve” but that the time looks so long when one is shifting about!— I thought you had known I meant to go straight from Rawdon to Fife—the only question with me has been about Haddington; whether to rush straight on or stay a night there unknow[n]2 to everyone— I suppose I shall go straight on—for a gentleman who dined at Forster's yesterday and claimed acquaintance with me on the strength of his vivid recollection of my “white veil at Haddington” (having lived exactly at the bottom of our entry!—his Father keeping a china-shop)3 told me that the railway passes Haddington at the distance of three miles— He is now—Secretary of the Leeds railway and knows all about it and is to send me written details— At all events I shall not leave Rawdon till Monday or Tuesday next—Forster comes here tomorrow night and Mrs P and I go back with him— It is perfect nonsense trying to write in this position which they are forcing me to keep—and with Dr Macleod4 standing with a handful of letters for the post only waiting for mine—it is merely thanks and a blessing I am sending you on my first arrival in this new position5— what a time we are having of it—I will write tomorrow

Your affectionate /


I have been on a platform at a public meeting for Liberty—Roman—thank your stars it was not for “the rights of women6—”