The Collected Letters, Volume 28


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 9 August 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18530809-JWC-MR-01; CL 28: 242-243


5 Cheyne Row / Chelsea / Tuesday [9? August 1853]

My dear Mrs Russell

Will you kindly write me a few lines to tell me how it is going on with you all— I heard in Liverpool on my way home, thro the young man who had been with Dr Russell that he was doing very well—out of all danger, and on my return I was most happy to see his own handwriting on the newspaper, tho' still not so steady yet as it used to be— But Mrs Aitken1 thro' whom I sometimes hear of you having been absent from Dumfries almost constantly since I left—attending her Mother at Scotsbrig I have no news of Dr Russell from her further and am anxious to know if he be going about again as usual—

What a sad piece of work my visit to Scotland was!— The week at Scotsbrig, where Mrs Carlyle might have died any moment without any of us being surprised, took all heart out of me for further visiting and I returned to Liverpool in less than three weeks after I had quitted it in the intention to stay away at least two months—On the way to the Ecclefechan station with my Brotherinlaw I received a letter from Helen Welsh which I knew was to say she was in daily expectation of me at Auchtertool— I put it in my pocket and did not open it till I was at Carlisle—in case it had over-persuaded me to go north instead of South where by that time I was looked for— In such a helpless uncertain state of mind did I feel myself!— At Liverpool however I stayed a week—and would been very well off there but for horrible toothach which had tormented me off and on from the time I left London— The night I came home I did not sleep one wink with it— So in the morning before Mr C was up I went off alone to a Dentist and had two teeth drawn—and in the evening it was found one of them had been a mistake—my toothach raging on one side exactly as before so next morning I went again and had a third drawn all that pain brought on a bilious fit which has made me good for nothing ever since— I entrusted Mrs Aitken with a woolen article for old Mary2—which I hope was duly forwarded to you How unlucky that I did not see you dear Mrs Russell when I had actually made up my mind to go there!3— All good be with you your affectionate