The Collected Letters, Volume 26


JWC TO HELEN WELSH; 27 August 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510827-JWC-HW-01; CL 26: 142-144


Wednesday [27 August 1851]

Dearest Helen

It will be too shocking to leave you to hear of my being in Liverpool from other hands!—besides I want to hear of you from yourselves and yourselves dont volunteer informations—

We leave Malvern on Saturday which completes the appointed month—and on the whole I think it has been as fair “a go” as discontented people like us could have found for themselves— The Place has continued to please me beyond any other “beautiful Nature” I ever sojourned in—such endless variety of quiet walks and drives—most soothing after Piccadilly and the eternal Kings-road!1 Two days ago they took me a three hours drive in the whole course of which, after clearing the village, we met just one living being!—a boy wheeling a barrow—and then if you want gaiety—there are the hills all swarming, like bee-hives, with Ladies and gentlemen—in astonishing wide-awakes—and embroidered baréges!—clambering over the furz with Alpine poles in their hands! Several of our acquaintances from London turned up— Mr Twistleton—a large family of Seniors. The Miss Scott2 I made such a brutal stand out against in London, who to my shame be it spoken, turns out to be an excellent, rather agreeable old woman, with whom I have got quite friendly—&c and the Drs two sisters have turned out quite as nice as their first appearance indicated— Throughout they have shown the most perfect tact and politeness, as well as kindness in their treatment of us, and old and cold as I am grown, and little addicted any longer to “swearing everlasting friendships,” I think it was quite worth while coming to Malvern to make their acquaintance— The Dr himself impresses me as a decidedly clever man, with a great deal of character, but there is something anti—pathetic between him and me that keeps me as reserved with him as I felt the first day—which is probably as well as he is dreadfully persecuted with the devotion of Ladies—all his female patients seeming to feel it their duty to fall in love with him—he has whole drawer-fuls of purses, greekcaps, braces and other Ladies works—besides all the chairs sofas and tables in the house being covered with worsted work!— If the poor Ladies only saw the fun that is made of their presents they would send them to any bazaar, rather!— As for the water cure I remain open to light3 about it— I see people here on whom it has worked miracles, by all accounts—to Mr C I should say it has done simply—nothing—neither ill nor good— He has been much better since he has been here—but, no better than I have seen him invariably in other country places, where he had the same benefits of good air, immense exercise, early and regular hours, and wholesome diet— All the packing and sitz-baths seem to have been a mere exercise of his patience—which I am glad to find he has such a stock of,—on emergency— — Poor little Nero has had the saddest fate—so much happiness; that it had produced a heat in his blood which rendered it necessary for me to take him to the Dog-Doctor—who has rammed boluses and emetics down his throat— till his life has not been worth holding besides prohibiting meat dinners—especially his beloved chicken bones! the first day that a plate of vegetable mashed up with gravy was placed on the Lawn for him; he turned disdainfully away from it, and disappeared for half an hour—we could not think where he had gone but it turned out after; that he had scamperd round the house to the back door, and rushed into the kitchen, and bobbed up into the air before the “cook! I call that clever!

Did you see in the newspapers that Blanche Stanley is to be married to Lord Airlie. Poor Blanche! I know she does not care a rush for him—in fact likes another man better—but she must fulfil her destiny and make “a good match”—if it were only to escape her Mother's eternal reproaches that she should be still “on her hands”— I had a long exalted letter from her the other day that made me quite sad4— Her Mother and she were just going off to London to buy wedding finery, and sign settlements and I dont know yet precisely when the marriage is to come off—and if it be in the first or second week of September our visit to Alderly must be given up for the present, as Lady Ashburton has taken it into her head to want Mr Carlyle in Paris on the 12th to stay with them there till the 29th when they come home—so there is a very short time to divide between Scotsbrig and Alderly and if the marriage be going on at the latter place it will have to be flung over— I shall be very glad if it has; as I shall have the more days to stay with Geraldine— I have written to Mary5 that we should be with her if she liked on Saturday—and have a nice note from her this morning saying she will like—so on Saturday night barring accidents we shall sleep at Maryland Street and stay with the little woman till Monday when Mr C will proceed by Carlisle to Scotsbrig and I to Manchester to wait there till he return—write to me a[t] Geraldines—

2 Birchfield villas / Higher Ardwick / Manchester

Kisses without limit to my Uncle and kind love to all— Dr Carlyle is still in Cheyne Row—amidst the house cleaning!!

Your affectionate /