The Collected Letters, Volume 27


JWC TO HELEN WELSH ; 9 July 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520709-JWC-HW-01; CL 27: 160-161


Friday [9 July 1852]

Dearest Helen

I am well aware that I have no lawful claim to any letter from Auchtertool—and yet such is the natural injustice of me that I have been daily expecting one, and feel as if I were an injured woman— Clearly none is coming, anyhow, until I shall have myself written, and so I write—tho, in circumstances of ‘distraction’ making all reflection and even all grammar impossible. Our “year in Germany” has ended, for the present at least, in a general repair of this house, worse than repair indeed for certain alterations are being made that have throw the whole first floor in ‘ruins,’ and every day irruption is made into some room above or beneath rendering it necessary to catch up all the furniture in ones arms and rush away with it—one knows not where! a week now has passed in this violent exertion and there may be some three months more of it for any hope I see to the contrary, and if you consider that the thermometer has been all the while standing at 83 in the shade—and also that Mr C exactly at the wrong moment has been seized with an invincible disposition to stay where he is you will readily figure that my situation is rather wonderful, and not favourable to letterwriting— If Mr C had but gone away, I should have had his bedroom, which is only to be papered and painted; into which I might have stowed away myself and the furniture for a time—but he has had the little dressing room turned into a most delectable study for the occasion, and there he sits serene in the middle of a noise as of a battle of Waterloo, and universal chaos throut the rest of the house—then of course meals and all that sort of thing must go on as usual, and cold baths! and his floor must be kept constantly watered—and in short I have had to bring back my little girl to attend to him especially— For a week or two before the disturbance began I was every day running up and down to the City and elsewhere—after the lease and lawyers, and houseagents and architects and the devil knows what—and all the while not knowing whether Mr C would go or stay or whether I myself was not to go on the first of July to Homberg with the Ashburtons— Now, it seems pretty certain that I must stay here—at least till the painting begin, and then I must retire into the neighbourhood to superintend it— Mr C thinks it would be all botched up if nobody looked to it—and I dare say it would— Lady A offered me the use of Addiscombe whence I could come twice a week or so—but I shall hardly accept that magnificent Retirement—if I can find any other—

Nero is very unhappy—and I am uncomfortable enough—but like better being tired out in this way than in soirees &c—thanks god—I keep clear of headachs—and in spite of the intense heat my sickness is not so continuous this summer as the two or three previous ones—


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