The Collected Letters, Volume 28


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 26 December 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531226-JWC-TC-01; CL 28: 351-353


5 Cheyne Row / 26th Dc / 53

No letter from you today, alas; and I suppose there is not even a chance in the evening; today being kept as Xmas there will probably be no evening delivery. At all rates I have the satisfaction of knowing that you found your Mother alive, and that she knew you— That will be a lasting consolation for you; however it may be with her now. I dare say you thought me rather cruel in urging you onward without more rest— But I knew how you would suffer, better than you did yourself, if by waiting till Friday you had missed her last kind look.

Your note came on Saturday evening— And the bill from Adamson1 at the same time. Chorley came for it this morning. a little more human, not to say humane, than when I saw him on Friday. No letters have come for you of any moment; I send them such as they are— To have to read anything may be a distraction for you in your present circumstances. My letters continue to come to me all round by the Grange—although I wrote both to Auchtertool and Liverpool that I was come home.

This morning I had a note from the Grange itself, Lady A wrote to announce “a little bracelet from The Tree” which Mrs Brookfield was bringing up for me.2 I laid the note carefully by (as I thought, when I was clearing away an accummulation of papers this morning) in the intention of sending it; and when I went just now to the basket to take it out, I found only the envelope! the note itself must have gone in the fire with the rest. But I can tell you all that was in it. first about the bracelet—then that she would be “sorry to lose the three weeks of affectionate greetings morning and evening that were to be broken up today” then, that she had had a note from you on your arrival at Scotsbrig; but did not write to you for you might be returned to Chelsea before her letter could reach— Lastly how much money did she owe me? and that the turkey was sent without orders—and there you have the whole, I think—

Nothing has happened since the poultry was all removed—to the last feather—on Saturday afternoon Enough of happening that! for months to come! I have written our thanks to Martin3—also to Redwood—whose unfailing box arrived on Saturday afternoon. Welsh mutton—unusually small—which Anne and I are quite up to eating our two selves—a Turkey—given immediately to Piper—a Hare—sent with “grateful compliments” to Mrs Morse at No 8,4 who was so civil about her poultry. And a little cheese which will keep.

A nice Haddington cake was handed in at the door the same day in a band-box with the direction in dear Betty's5 handwriting; not a word spoken, not a penny to pay! How does Betty manage that?

I see nobody having not told anybody as yet that I am here—and had no time or spirits as yet to go anywhere.

Yesterday was especially silent; for I let Ann go home for her holiday—and was quite alone with Nero till eleven at night.

My only “putting up the Xmas” was the breaking the seal on your present, and hanging it about my neck.6 I like it so much—and it suits my eyes capitally—I expected a pretty glass (I divined of course it was a glass) but it is a much handsomer one than I should have been contented with—

Catch me ever wishing for any expensive thing before you again!

Mr Piper has just been here with bread, and tells me positively; No—there will be no evening delivery.

I don't know how you feel about it; but I assure you, I am very thankful to have terminated the cock-business in “forcing the Roncas to come voluntarily” and offer us the poultry, instead of in getting the house on our hands with the Pipers in it— I was resigned to wave my one objection to the Pipers—but I knew what grievances would come of such proximity to that gossiping woman— Something has been between Ann and her since I came home which has brought out her duplicity in a way that would have increased my horror of her at next door had it been so settled.

Oh dear me! perhaps you are too ill and miserable to care about this long letter. I shall be so anxious till tomorrow.

My love to them all— Poor Isabella with her fire place “all topsy turvy”! and you whom she is so anxious to make comfortable plumping down on her!—

Ever yours faithfully

Jane W Carlyle