August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


JWC TO TC ; 18 January 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580118-JWC-TC-01; CL 33: 160-162


5 Cheyne Row Chelsea / Monday1 [18 January 1858]

My Dear! “Ye maun joost excuse us the day”!2 I have an aching head come to fraternize with my aching side—and between the two am “very much detached”—can't easily sit still to write. For the rest; even Geraldine couldn't say of me that I am “much happier for your being away”—

View larger version:
[in this window]
[in a new window]

Geraldine Jewsbury, n.d.

Courtesy of B. S. Lehmbeck


I feel as forlorn as—“the Maiden,” that “milked the Ewe with the crumpled horn”3— my sickness, and helplessness striving to “keep up its dignity”4 and, what is more to the purpose, to keep its temper in this atmosphere of systematic insolence and arsenical politeness5 is one of those sufferings thro which I suppose man (meaning woman) is “made perfect”6 —or ought to be!— Then the poor little dog, who was to have been “company to me” is not recovered from the illness he took before you left— He seemed coming to himself yesterday forenoon; tho still he had not tasted food since the last you gave him; and I stupidly let Mr Piper take him to Fulham7—he came home—carried most of the way—not able to keep his legs—his eyes extinct—his legs stretched out cold and stiff— He has lain ever since without moving, but he now looks at me when I stroke him, and his posture is more natural. You may fancy how many lucifers I lighted thro the night, when I felt him quite cold and couldnt hear him breathing! Poor wee Nero! how glad I should be to hear him snoring or see him overeating himself again.

Please thank Lady Sandwich for the dear little letter I had from her this morning— I dont say “dear” in the Lady Airlie sense8—but really meaning it— I will write to her when I have got my head a little above all this troubled water— Also thank Lord Ashburton for the game—(hares and pheasants) It gives one a taste of the pleasures of Patronage—having such things—to give away— Mr and Mrs Lowe called to ask for me yesterday morning (Sunday) between ten & eleven on their way to “the Cottage”9— Happily they found me in no muddle— In the middle of the day Geraldine walked in!— she couldn't have managed to reappear at a more propitious moment—for having her judgment commuted— Just one packet of Proofs—tho there is no sheet, I send it—in case you should stay over Wednesday— Dont hurry for me—if you get good of the change— It will be all in my own interest your staying—if you come back better for it— With Geraldine10 at hand I dont suffer the same practical inconvenience from being confined to the house—I can send her on any message and ask her to do anything— Love to Lady Sandwich

Yours ever / Jane Welsh Carlyle 11

[For God's sake don't put] such [great platches of black] wax on [your letters, to me at least.]—my heart turned in my throat this morning; I thought it was some horrid news from annandale12