1854-June 1855

The Collected Letters, Volume 29


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL; 30 December 1854; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18541230-JWC-MR-01; CL 29: 227-228


Cheyne Row 30th December / 1854

My dear Mrs Russell

I “did intend” to have written you a long letter on this last day of the year but one— The fates however have stept in the rather disagreeable shape of—smoke! A chimney which Mr C and Dr Arnold1 have been transmogrifying into something that was to give out the greatest possible amount of heat with the smallest possible expenditure of coals had decidedly refused when all was done, to act! as I think it had a perfectly good right TO! and so the Smith has had to be called in and all the room thrown into confusion again and my own hour that was to have been given to you most disagreeably occupied— But I will write the long letter before long— Meanwhile tho' poor old Mary2 is gone I have still interests in Thornhill— Yourself dear Mrs Russell will not, I hope; expect me to leave off my yearly sign of kind remembrance; because I have no longer the excuse of old Mary to give you trouble— And there is Margaret3 still, and the others to whom you gave something for me—and you must seek some other deserving poor creature on whom to bestow the 5/ for Mary's pound of tea— There is no charity one can give here that is so satisfactory to myself as what I give thro' you in Thornhill—one does not feel it will immediately be spent at “the beer shop”— It is a dreadful place London for hardening peoples hearts—one meets with so many deceptions and disgusts as often as one “takes a notion” of helping ones poverty stricken fellow-creatures—

I send you an evenings entertainment for new years gift4— I hope you will like the book as much as I do; I can vouch for the truth of it—

I have been shut up in the house almost entirely for six weeks—with one of my long colds—but for that, I should have been now at the Grange where I had engaged myself to go on the 19th—the month of country—of pure air and green fields might have done me good—but I felt quite cowardly before the prospect of so much dressing for dinner and talking for effect Especially as I was to have gone this time on my own basis—Mr C being too busy with his book to waste a month at present—besides having a sacred horror of two several lots of children who were to be there and the bother about whom drove him out of all patience last year!

How is my nice little cousin getting on with her spoilt boys?5 Love to your Father and Husband— All good be with you dear Mrs Russell

Yours in the greatest haste but ever affectionately

Jane W Carlyle 6