The Collected Letters, Volume 28


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 29 December 1853; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18531229-JWC-TC-01; CL 28: 365-366


Thursday [29 December 1853]

Thanks for two letters Dear. And excuse a short one in return. I did not get up till eleven today; having been ill all the night and all yesterday, with something new, and “rather exquisite”—a colic Perhaps what they call the Painters colic—for I had thought it best they should go on, since you were away, and complete their work, so as not to trouble you again; and the smell had been very strong of late days. Or perhaps it was the sickness I brought away from the Grange doing itself out when it had the leisure. Whatever the cause, it could not have timed itself better, than when I was all alone; with nothing else to do. I am now suffering only from the remedies I give myself—plenty of tincture of rhubarb and henbane— So it is not illness necessitates brevity. The Carpenter has been here this week finishing the cloth doors and shutters— Yesterday I was to have provided some sort of stuff for covering the chairs, which are come home from the French-polisher; but I failed thro' this colic; and now he (the Carpenter) sends me word that he will be at a stand for work in an hour or so— There is no choice then but to let him go away or put myself in an omnibus and go up to Waterloo House1 for the stuff. And if I delay writing till my return I should probably miss the post altogether—for the only three times I have been out since I came home I have been up to nothing on coming in but lying down.

Do you know, Dear, I dont like your always saying you are “well” in health. Nobody gets really well in that sudden way; and so you can only be feeling bodily well, either because your mind is so overfilled with sorrow, that you have not a minute to listen to your sensations; or, because you are in a fever of billiousness which passes with one for wellness,—till the reaction comes. I knew that Isabella would make you more comfortable than you are ever made in any other house— She is indeed the kindest and politest Hostess I ever fell in with. My kindest regards to her and Jamie—

Chapman has given me a check for 20£ and is desirous of printing Burns immediately.2 “It is time now to spread a little more salt of Carlyle over the thing.” He said you had a tornup copy. Shall I send him Burns? and where shall I find it? If you come on Saturday night you will find the Painters cleared out. They certainly will have done on Saturday. The new room is much better painted than the Drawingroom— We had a heavy fall of snow yesterday which is still lying

Could you not manage to sleep at Chatham Street3 on your way back? I am sure Sophy would be most glad to see you and Alick is there now. You might warn her of your coming 100 Chatham Street

Ever your /