January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 26 April 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420426-JWC-MR-01; CL 14: 169-170


5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea: Tuesday, [26] April 1842.

My dear Mrs. Russell,—I sit down to write to you at last! But how to put into written words what lies for you in my heart! If I were beside you, I feel as if I should throw myself on your neck, and cry myself to rest like a sick child. At this distance, to ask in cold writing all the heart-breaking things I would know of you, and to say all the kind things I would say for her and myself, is indeed quite impossible for me. You will come and see me, will you not, before very long? I can never go there again; but you will come to me? travelling is made so easy now! And I should feel such gratification in receiving into my own house one who was ever so dearly welcome in hers, and who, of all who loved her, was, by one sad chance and another, the only one whose love was any help to her when she most needed our love! She blessed you for the comfort you gave her, and you shall be blessed for it here and hereafter. The dying blessing of such a pure fervent heart as hers cannot have been pronounced on you in vain; and take my blessing also, ‘kind sweet’ woman! a less holy one, but not less sincerely given.

Will you wear the little thing I inclose in remembrance of me, and of this time? You will also receive, through my cousin in Liverpool, a little box, and scarf, of hers, which I am sure you will like to have; and along with these will be sent to your care a shawl for Margaret Hiddlestone, who is another that I shall think of with grateful affection, as long as I live, for the comfort which she bestowed on her during the last weeks. I think Dr. Russell has some of her books; I desired that he should have them. He has given me an inestimable gift in that letter; for which I deeply thank him, and for so much else. Remember me to your father.1 I sent him the poor old Tablet last week; I know he used to get it from her. Will you write two or three lines to my aunt Ann2—you sometimes write to her, I believe—and say to her that, although returned to London, and a good deal better in health, I am still incapable of much exertion of any sort, and have not yet set about answering my letters? She sent me a long sermon, to which she has, no doubt, looked for some reply; it was well meant, and I would not offend her, but I am not up to correspondences of that sort just now.

All good be with you all. Think of me, and pray for me; I have much need of more help than lies in myself, to bear up against the stroke that has fallen on me.

Ever affectionately yours /