January 1835-June 1836

The Collected Letters, Volume 8


JWC TO SUSAN HUNTER; 13 August 1835; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18350813-JWC-SS-01; CL 8:197-198.


5 Cheyne Row / Chelsea Thursday / [13 or 20 August? 1835]


I am too essentially Scotch, not to give due heed to the Proverb; “it is good to make hay while the sun shines”—which means in the present case; it is good to catch hold of a friend while she is in the humour. But I have been provokingly hindered from acting up to my principle, by the prolonged absence of my usual Domestic; which has kept us until the present day in “the valley of the shadow”1 of char-woman: and thro' going tho' I know you to be I feared to invite you to participate therein. Now however I have got the defficiency [sic] supplied after a more comfortable and permanent fashion, and make haste to say Come and Stay—Come dear Susan and let us make the best of this “very penetrating world” as a maid of my Mother's used to call it, in vapourish moods. Come and wind me up again, as you have often done before when I was quite run down: so that from being a mere senseless piece of lumber, I began to tick and tell people what o'clock it was.

Will you come in the ensuing week? Name your own time only remember the sooner the better.

My kind regards to Mr John when you write, and to your Sister2 Do you remember her phsiologicol [sic] observation on hens?3 I hear nothing of his Lordship;4 but the fault is my own.

Yours affectionately /

Jane Carlyle

Do not be after thinking that I have lost the power to write more legibly.— I am just out of one of my headaches & my hand shakes— No Miss Napier5 however stept in out of space to drive me to extremity. O the horror of that moment!