The Collected Letters, Volume 27


JWC TO GERALDINE E. JEWSBURY ; 23 July 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520723-JWC-GEJ-01; CL 27: 177-178


Friday [23 July 1852]

My dear Geraldine

Pray advise Frank not to send me any more letters while his present humour holds out— The last has done more to set my heart against him than any number of Newton fictions could ever have done—it is so—“what shall I say?”—spiteful! and Frank, above all people I have been used to consider free as the angels from every sort of unkindly thing! Another such letter would end ALL between us—so I absolutely will not read another—till I know from you, that he is pacified towards me. I am very sorry indeed that I should have vexed him so much—and very angry at myself for having been so indiscreet—tho it is not my own impression that I “volunteered the statement”—to the best of my recollection when we were speaking of Mrs Newton Frank asked “has she found out yet who wrote the letters to her Husband?” and when I answered “Oh that she has; knows all about it—and the letters were not to Nodes after all!” that Frank said several times over “do tell me—do tell me—please do”—that is my impression but if Frank is positive it is incorrect—why then I have remembered wrong—as I am apt enough to do— Nor does it much signify which of us began the subject—since in any case it behoved me as a well-bred woman (not to dream of saying a wise one) to have held my peace on what I had heard. As to “the stranger”—on above account Frank seems to have been most annoyed with me. will you make him understand that “the Stranger” knows absolutely nothing of him (Frank) or the subject— that the Stranger tho' speaking English in a slow way, well enough to carry on conversation with me himself, is quite lost in the rapid talk carried on betwixt other people, especially when of the out of the way sort such as Frank and I were going on with—moreover that if he could have understood that I told Frank “he was lying”—(as Frank says I did) in his presence—he knows me so well and has so good an opinion of me, that he would have felt sure without further explanation, I was using the expression in some other sense than a grave, accusing one, since he saw me there going thro the forms of FRIENDSHIP with the man I so addressed.

So do dear Geraldine pour oil on the waters of this absurd little tempest we have made from my taking up the thing in this depracoting way instead of in my usual proud fiery way you may see the real liking I have for Frank and the sense I have of all his kindnesses to me— But I cant promise to hold out against another spiteful word from him— In fact wont open another letter from him till he is pacified

affectionately yours /

Jane Carlyle