October 1833-December 1834

The Collected Letters, Volume 7


JWC TO ELIZA MILES; 20 December 1834; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18341220-JWC-EMI-01; CL 7:e5.


[20 December 1834]

My dear Eliza

What I heard from Mrs Page about the uncertainty of your continuance in your situation at Baker Street has made me very anxious to see Yourself and hear further from your own lips. I am sure you have no friend more sincerely desirous for your welfare in every sense of that word; and if I can find no counsel to give you befitting the perplexity of your circumstances; my true sympathy will not be wholly useless to a good heart like yours. Your loss is one which I know by experience to be the most heartbreaking that can befal any mortal; compared with which indeed the uncertainty thrown over your worldly prospects will seem trifling. And now you have sustained another loss in our poor friend which cannot be light to you who were so greatly attached to him.1

All this makes me wish to see you—but I cannot come to you or would have already done so— Ir[e]land2 with her accustomed heedlessness poured a quantity of boiling water on my foot instead of into the coffee-pot one morning about a week ago and—now I cannot walk a step across the floor am indeed confined to bed.

Come to me then like a good girl—and stay a day or two. It will do yourself good and me a great deal of good—and my Husband [too] for you would take some of the trouble of minding me off his hands. Ir[e]land is as careless and helpless about me now that she has reduced me to this condition as if scalding me had been a part of her stipulated service. She is really so confused that I fear I shall be obliged to part with her before long that she may not burn the house over our heads or com[m]it some other irretrievable mischief— God bless you dear— you will hardly be able to read this but I can do no better in [the] position in which I am ly[ing]

[Your a]ffectionate /

Jane Carlyle

Love to Mrs Page and your Mother—