The Collected Letters, Volume 27


JWC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 21 May 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520521-JWC-JAC-01; CL 27: 119-120


Addiscombe Farm / Friday [21 May 1852?]

My dear John

Mr C, in going off to drive in an open carriage with Lord Ashburton, told me to write you a few lines to say we were here— It is not precisely thro' my choice that we are here— I had settled that we were to go to Sandgate,1 by the Sea, for a few days and by dint of unheard of efforts of volition had got Mr C to agree to this but an hour before we were to have started, Lady A, having had the purpose announced to her, sent us an invitation to take ourselves off here instead of to Sandgate, as here we should have instead of sea air the assurance of well-aired beds etc—and that is just what we have not—for the house which has been given over to Painters and decorators for the last twelvemonth has not been occupied as usual—the Master and Mistress only keeping two rooms in it for visits of a night or so— I could not however deny that a known place had less risks to front than an unknown one and so we slept here on Wednesday night instead of by the seaside— Mr C is decidedly better for the change—the cold he told you of, had by dint of such bad treatment as I never saw a man give himself, renewed itself several times, and hung about till one got quite unhappy at it, making him so weak as I hardly ever saw him—On Monday of this week Darwin and I having taken him out for a drive (he insisted on walking two hours at a stretch and was not to be trusted to walk alone) got him half by compulsion half by coaxing to go and show himself to Fairish2 whom he had owned to having “some slight confidence” in. Fairish said his pulse was very weak and ordered him quinine and sea air if he could but agree to go—and it was fortified by this prescription that I had persuaded him into consenting to go to Sandgate

The quinine seems to be agreeing with him extremely well— His appetite is excellent now—and, his sleep pretty good—and if he would only go on letting himself be nursed I think he would soon be better than for a long time before this Influenza came on—but you know his ways! Today with the Air full of wet he is off to drive in the same open carriage in which he got a relapse before, and he has also today announced his determination to drive with Lord A and me at six instead of by himself at four as I had settled for him—we were here alone in the first instance—but Lady A came down for a few hours yesterday and went back to London crossing Lord A on the road, still ill of gout, who was coming to stay with us here! Tomorrow Lady A will come back and stay over Whitsuntide3We stay here till Tuesday when the house is to fill with visitors being just on the point of getting rid of Painters and Decorators—so on Tuesday I mean to try whether I cannot still get Mr C to go on to Sandgate instead of returning to London before he is quite strong— I should like a gliff of the sea myself for I am very much worn down with this illness of Mr C coming directly on the back of a great loss of blood that I had!—thro a tooth—just imagine! I had had the face ach for a fortnight complicated with toothach which last I thought to put an end to by going to the Dentist and having the tooth drawn4—all went off without any unusual phenomena but two or three days after the blood rushed into my mouth and for a good many days I went on bleeding at the rate of two teacupfuls per day— Anything that agitated me in the least filled my mouth with blood!— I got something from Alsop5 to stop it but it had diminished in quantity of its own accord—and now I must end this most Hospitalish letter—my head being very bad today— With love to your Mother and the rest

Ever affectionately yours

J W Carlyle