candlestick

April 1849-December 1849


The Collected Letters, Volume 24


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JWC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN; 7 November 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18491107-JWC-JCA-01; CL 24: 280-281


JWC TO JEAN CARLYLE AITKEN

Wednesday [7 November 1849]

My dear Jane

I have been most foolishly putting off writing from day to day till I could tell you that the parcel was sent to the Paper People—and in that small enterprise I have been hindered by the unpunctuality of my dressmaker who has kept me from day to day waiting for my new stuff-gown—without which I could not abdicate the other—the said stuff gown has finally been sent home and is just—sent back again for certain alterations—so you see!— In a day or two the affair will get itself wound up and meanwhile I have at last the sense to write about those stockings— I can't think what Isabella was dreaming of when she said I expressed any designs upon stockings this year. I dont want stockings knit for me the least in the world! Last year when your Mother was ill and reading more than was thought good for her I wrote a request to her to spin me some Stockings—purely for the sake of turning her “superfluous activity” into a more harmless direction—she could not spin, it turned out, and so I thought no more of course about the matter— But a thousand thanks to you Dear all the same for your obliging offer— For the present however I shall not avail myself of it

I have a good many pairs of satisfactory stockings on hand—or rather on leg—at present, and when I need more I know where I can get Shetland knit stockings, by paying the price, which is worth while, they are so soft and fit so well and last so long—as to the bonnet I should not be wearing it at this season, so it may wait for John's or somebody's coming—“half a crown” or three and sixpence which would be the cost here is not much to pay—but if the bonnet be no more it would be what Mr C would call a practical solecism to pay as much as it costs for the carriage of it—

For the rest I have no news to tell you except that I have got a new cat—who gives [sat]isfaction hitherto—but they all do that in the beginning, and end in having to get themselves drowned out of the world— I have been very busy lately at all sorts of trades—chiefly carpentering—and in your own line—painting and varnishing—so the last two days I have been giving myself a lark—actually have “with my cough and at my time of life” sat two days of my mortal existence over a three volume novel!—but it was the last new one of an authoress who sometimes goes by my name so I wanted to see whether the present work came up to my reputation!— it is quite curious how this woman says things that I have said exactly in my own words—which are often absurd and wild enough—

Poor John Macqueen!1— I felt quite wae about him—setting aside all thought of the loss of a good tenant—as I suppose he was—I remember gratefully how like a gentleman he behaved to me in the matter of taking all my spare furniture off my hands at my own valuation. What will become of the Sister2

Ever your affectionate

JWC