1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


JWC TO DAVID DAVIDSON; 31 March 1855; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18550300-JWC-DD-01; CL 29: 279-280


5 CHEYNE ROW, Thursday [March–April? 1855].

MY DEAR—David is what nature prompts me to write! But then comes the recollection of that tall grave stranger I met in the railway carriage to Haddington,1 and I could scream at the idea of such a liberty! “Thirty years makes a great odds on a Boy as well as on a Girl!”—and it takes more than one good talk to get accustomed to the odds. Still the boy and the girl that knew one another thirty years ago must always, I think, have a certain interest for one another, independent of personal sympathies. So I do not hesitate to beg you to come again, tho' you have already tried the distance. When I found your card, I could not leave it in the customary plate, but put it safe by, till I wrote to you next day. Now, I do not know if it is a peculiarity; but for me, the result of putting anything safe by, is to make it undiscoverable when wanted, so, with your address; I have hunted for it twenty times since, and only found it this morning in a china mug! And now I make haste to tell you that I have missed no call for six months—or a whole year if you like!—that I so regretted and that I shall rely on your coming again. The best time for finding me, and when we may make one another's grown acquaintance without interruption, is any time before one o'clock. Does that suit your Indian habits?2 I generally, at this time of the year, go out at one—not of necessity, but for the same reason the Scotch Professor gave for drinking whisky, “because I like it, and because it is cheap”3—if you come so as to find me before I go out, there would be no need for me to go after— Don't you think it would be pleasing to our mothers—dear friends as they were—that we should be meeting again in this great foreign London?— If you cannot come before one any day, write to me appointing any other time you like and I shall wait for you.4— Affectionately yours,