July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


JWC TO HENRY LARKIN ; 6 August 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580806-JWC-HL-01; CL 34: 105-106


Bay House / Alverstock / Hants [6 August 1858]

My dear Mr Larkin

Will you give my Charlotte the half-sovereign on Saturday—I am not coming for some time yet. The place suits me famously! and already I both feel and look quite different from the “Seedy Party” that took leave of you at Chelsea! I get some human sleep here, and no longer cough at all in the evening, and very little at any time. I have a long drive in an open carriage every day; and every day eat two dinners!—one at half after one, and the second at eight! this system answers perfectly!

But oh Mr Larkin!—my watch!— If it didn't go and stop, at a quarter to five, the very first morning!— I tried every persuasion to make it go on again, but beyond nine it positively would not go!— I now for the first time see the sense of those Great Bells which make such a devil of a row in aristocratic Houses. They are in aid of visitors whose watches refuse to go! If it were'nt for ‘the getting up Bell,’ and ‘the breakfast Bell,’ and ‘the servants' dinner-Bell,’ and ‘the Lunch Bell,’ and ‘the dressing-Bell,’ and ‘the dinner Bell,’ I dont know what would become of me! for to tell the time by feeling, in a strange house thrown loose from ones home habits and occupations is quite beyond me!1

Mr Carlyle is still in the vague about Germany. His going will depend, I think, on Lord Ashburtons success in looking up “a man with a yacht”!

I had a fine sail in Portsmouth Harbour the other day, and went on board The Urgent, and got to splatches (scotch) of brown paint on my new dress!—There are Forts here,2 and a camp,3 and every thing a reasonable woman could desire!

Remember me kindly to your mother— yours most truly

Jane W Carlyle