The Collected Letters, Volume 25


JWC TO JEANNIE WELSH; 13 April 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500413-JWC-JW-01; CL 25: 63-64


Saturday (13 April, 1850).


This is the only sheet of paper I have in the world, and I dare not interrupt Mr. C. at his pamphlet, to borrow some, so I must write close and to the purpose. When I wrote last I was in the thick of a cold caught at Addiscombe—that wound itself up with a little fit of cholera, and then I went back to Addiscombe to get up my strength!! Mr. C. going this time for three days out of the six I stayed. Nobody else was there but Miss Farrar whom I like well enough in other people's houses—in my own she is too riotous. Lady A. was well this time and in “tearing spirits” very kind and somehow I felt more comfortable than usual in most respects, but there was one grand drawback quite fatal to my enjoyment—in consequence of my cholera I suppose, there commenced the very day I left home an outrageous pimple on the very top of my nose, making me really “too ugly for anything” and so painful that I could not get it forgotten if I had had philosophy enough to forget it for a moment. Could there be a more unsuitable position for transacting such a thing? it only reached its “culminating point” the day I came away—and has since been gradually subsiding, but there is still a redness very distressing to my own sense of the beautiful as well as to other people's. The only person who put me at ease about it was Anthony S.1 who when I told him how it had annoyed me at Addiscombe exclaimed cordially—“Damn your nose! for a sensible woman you have really the oddest ideas! as if anybody really attached to you could love you an atom less if you were all covered over with small-pox!!!” I should not like however to try human love with permanent small-pox.

I wrote a scolding letter to Helen2 the other day—I had not got a word from Maryland Street and can see that she is letting herself get imprisoned in the details of her own sick body. She had not written to Miss Sketchley either—very wrong to neglect the letters of a person fallen into poverty, and consequently more sensitive to attentions! If anybody has a right to remonstrate with another for giving up to the egoistic temptations of long-continued ailment it is surely I who have felt them so strongly and have for so many years kept them under by efforts like to tear the life out of me. If Helen could just feel for an hour the bodily sensation and consequent mental depression with which I go to most parties and do most of the things my hand finds to do, she would know that she is not entitled to occupy herself exclusively with the cares for herself. She had written however a nice long letter which crossed mine—and the next day came a good-natured note, really she had taken my hard sayings extremely well! My paper is getting filled. I send you a royal invitation—as a curiosity in “the Provinces” and to make you great in the eyes of Mr. Liddle!3 I should not wonder if he would like to buy it of you!—I will also send one of these days a vol. of sermons to Walter as a model! they are considered wonderfully fine, and were recommended to me by Thomas Erskine4—but I cannot get up a sentiment for sermons.

… God bless you dear—Love to Walter—

Yours affectionate /