October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


JWC TO ELIZA STODART; 20 December 1832; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18321220-JWC-EA-01; CL 6:280-282.


Templand Thursday [20 December 1832]

My dear Eliza

Owing to the singularity of our relation with the Postoffice, as with all the other institutions of active life; your letter1 only reached me last night—nearly a whole week after date— I am certainly greatly indebted by the trouble you have, and are so readily taking about us; and have also reason to commend the punctuality and distinctness of your communications— It is a grand and I am sorry to say a rare quality in a female letter to carry its meaning on its face. so much so indeed that one thinks oneself fortunate to find any meaning at all, after the most puzzling study. But you tell a plain story always, from which one is at no loss to deduce a plain conclusion—and this however meanly you esteem yourself as a correspondent makes you to me always an agreeable one—

They say a weak person generally gives three reasons where one is all that is required. Accordingly I have three reason[s] for being sorry we have missed the Graeme Street House.2 I think the Climate there, healthier than in the New town. I was pleased with the prospect of being so near to George Square, and finally I have of late weeks been living there in idea and got used to the place as if I had been there in the body— However—delays are dangerous—and now there is nothing to be done but to thank our stars that so feasable a looking substitu[t]e is cast up; and to put off no time in securing it. I think in all but situation the Widows house seems most suitable— And if you can get it at the rent you speak of 4 £ I beg you will come to a final arrangement with her without delay. I cannot at this moment fix a day for entering but you may say some day of the first week after newyears day. Nothing better could be accomplished by my coming in beforehand—and really the notion of going ten miles, without my Husband, is frightful to me, I am so very feckless [helpless] grown— The best plan is for you as I have said to take this tenement and——take possession! the day we are to come—with my old Betty3 if you know where to find her or any other honest woman that could put on a fire and have a kettle boiling on it. I mean to bring a little black maid4 along with me—who will sort [put in order] the beds for us in no time—and next day when we have all our luggage out of the way we will wil[lingly] go home with you to dine with Br[adie] if he be willing— You would need to order in a temporary supply of coals—and leave all the rest to my forecasting spirit— The Lady if she know her own interest should not hesitate to let her house to such tenants—even at a reduced rent for I am sure more careful people—more free of children and nuisances of all sorts are not easy to be fallen in with.

I came hither last Sunday and found my Mother alone and not worse than when I left her— But she is still delicate—and suffering exceedingly from the cold weather— I think she will come to us before long—but the air of Stockbridge5 will be a new objection. She hopes to hear from you soon and sends her kind love as also does my Husband. We go home on Saturday to commence a household earthquake— If you cannot read this blame my Mothers infamous pens— A kiss to Bradie— God bless you both

Ev[er y]our affectionate


I am thinking to try private quadrilling as a cure for my dispepsia this winter and calculate on your cooperation— If you see Jeffrey pray tell him when I am coming—for I shall not have leisure to answer his inquiries—that is I am not in a writing vein and fancy I have not leisure