The Collected Letters, Volume 26


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 8 September 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510908-JWC-TC-01; CL 26: 159-160


2 Birchfield Place / Monday[8 September 1851]

This is no letter Dear; but only my decision about the waistcoat— The dark decidedly pleases me the best, and would fraternise best with steel grey— Your letter is just come, and at half after eleven we are to meet Frank at his Insurance Office, two miles off; to be taken to a place called Accrington,1 a valley of Cotton Mills where spinning preserves something of its primeval simplicity of manners— It is the Place which Geraldine used up in her Marian Withers— I have already walked—before breakfast and before getting your letter—so you perceive I am going ahead in exercise at a famous rate!— But letters cannot get written, nor even my stockings yet darned, amidst this constant amusing of me & I shall have to buy a pair of whole stockings on my way to the Office—and, still worse have to put you off with this tiny sheetchen— We had a rather fatiguing day yesterday walking to Mr Witworths and back again at night, besides inspecting his premises, from the Green Houses to the pig sties— It is curious to see what elaborate comfort and luxuries these gentlemanized Operations surround themselves with— Imagine that Orangoutang Mr Witworth in a white marble bath that runs in hot water at the shortest notice! and dressing himself at a Psyche looking glass!2

He gave us—(there was nobody but Frank Geraldine and me) real Turtle soup and “aa things sootable”—sent his compliments to you and hoped you would let him see you when you came to Manchester— The Patten Portrait of his poor Wife,3 hanging alongside of his own, is all that remains of her in the house— She has been “sent back to her friends” having gone to pieces, taken to drinking &c under his strong insistence that she should turn into a Lady, becoming his improved fortunes—

I have not had a single letter, except one from Helen Welsh, since I came here—nor written any except to Miss Gully—little Mary in Liverpool and a note to John— I have been trying to read Miss Lynn's Realities4—but am still in the first volume—in fact they keep me always on my legs as if I had taken an overdose of Laudanum— I shall try to get buttons on my way to Town— if there are none—you may say, I didnt succeed—

kind love to the rest

yours ever