The Collected Letters, Volume 27


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 6 January 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520106-JWC-MR-01; CL 27: 4-5


5 Cheyne Row / Tuesday [6 January 1852]

My dear Mrs Russell

Here I am at home again—to the unspeakable joy of—my dog!—if no one else's— I assure you the reception he gave us left the heart nothing to wish! I found a clean house with nothing spoiled or broken— My present servant, who has lasted since last May, is a punctual trustworthy woman, very like our Haddington Betty1 in appearance—I hope she will stay—for ever!—if that were possible— I always think it was a pity for both herself and me that Margaret Hiddleston did not come when I offered her the place—she might have been quite rich and certainly not overworked by this time—15£ a year (!) I have given for some years back—then there are little windfalls of old clothes—presents from visitors &c &c—she, a thrifty scotch woman, could have laid by a good deal—my present servant2 spends nothing on herself poor soul but she has one little child to keep out, and two self willed grownup daughters always throwing up their situations and needing help from their Mother— Really it is a melancholy comfort for us women who have no children, to see how many Mothers seem to get nothing but plague and sorrow of theirs— This woman for example nearly fifty—with a very delicate chest—doing all the work of my house and obliged to give away all her wages to those who (the grown up part of them) should be supporting her—I hope you will now write me a long letter about dear old Thornhill3 and all the people I know there—I send the order for the money which I need not doubt but you advanced for me—I hoped by this time to have had a book to send you—Mr C's Life of Sterling—of which a second edition is now printing—but it is not ready yet—so you must wait a little longer— Only imagine my three Aunts4 coming up to the exhibition5 last August— I should have thought it much too worldly a subject of interest for them—I had gone to Malvern6 only two days before they arrived—so missed them altogether. love to your Husband and Father7—Ever affectionately yours / Jane W Carlyle