The Collected Letters, Volume 26


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 3 December 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511203-JWC-TC-01; CL 26: 248-249


Wednesday [3 December 1851]

I hope that Ann will not forget her secret mission tomorrow morning, and that before you find this letter on your plate you will have found the waistcoat on your toilet. And I hope too, not without a certain apprehension, that the said waistcoat may find favour in your sight1—it is not of my making this one—tanto meglio per voi [so much the better for you]!—it was made at Sampson2 to your measure and to my directions—it is decidedly fast; but a man with three wide-awakes may do with a waistcoat fastissimo [of the fastest]! and IF it ain't warm!— I have recollected since I came here that there ought to have been sleeves put to it—if you wish them put in at once; tell Ann to look in the bottom drawer in the front bedroom—where, by the way, Lady S's dressing gown also is; in case you want it to bring here—and there she will find two pairs of sleeves, washed, and one pair at least whole—and I should hope she can sew them on for you as well as I could—

For the rest my cold is no worse “thanks God”—rather better if anything—but I have still enough of cough and roughness and of that questionable sensation of being “all nohow” to require that I should keep within doors. It is an excessively cold house this, in spite of the good fires that are kept up—and I do not see how any body “that has a habit” of taking colds can ever be without one in it—but I shall be quite content if I can keep on dressing my dolls even “under difficulties”!

Lord A returned from Cornwall yesterday,—presides over a dinner at Winchester today,—and will be coming and going—chiefly going till the 13th— Till then nobody comes I believe— I gave my “noble Hosts” (how like the Mr Russell3 who took two soups!) your “respects,” as desired—and I must say they were received by Lady A just [as]4 I should have received them in her place—with a great burst of ironical laughter—“If I were simple enough” she said “to be taken in by that dodge, SHE wasn't—that Mr C knew very well he had gone a great way beyond “respects” with her—especially since that visit to Paris”—

Would you give the inclosed to Ann and tell her that her Daughter may do as she pleases about it—the Place is still there if she like to go after it and thinks she has brains enough to find her road—but I am sick of driving her, and wash my hands of all responsibility— Lady S is come down and I was to talk to her while Lady Ashburton is gone for a walk—in fact with nothing to do nominally but these seven dolls to dress I have somehow no quiet hour to write a letter—all the day long Lady S bids me say you may send her your regards next time and keep your respects for those who like them a kiss to my dear Nero

[no signature]