October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 6 October 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18561006-JWC-MR-01; CL 32: 5-6


5 Cheyne Row / Chelsea / Monday

[6 October 1856]

Oh yes dearest Mrs Russell 5 Cheyne Row is my whereabout now!— And be hanged to it!— Your letter was delivered to me at Scotsbrig on Saturday morning, just as I was pinning your plaid about me to start for London—in a plunge of rain! and the dolefulest spirits— No little girl ever started for school more disconsotaly1 after her pleasant holidays!— Even the Canaries2 on my lap didnt console me a bit—did nothing but spill their water over me. Mr Carlyle had come on to Scotsbrig on the Wednesday night—in what the people here call “a state of mind”—all his nerves in a phrenzy from the long confused journey he had made—and the prospect of further journey still before him!— Oh gracious, didn't I wish he had gone back to London in the Almighty Carriage!3—and left me to Providence!—your dear Fathers4Providence” would have been an infinitely more agreeable Protector—under the circumstances!—and wouldn't have kept both windows open on me, so that I got such a face ach! There was one agreeable incident on the journey however—at Carlisle I was standing looking at the Express Train arriving to join ours, when who should issue from a carriage but my Cousin Alick and his wife,5 going back to Liverpool!— We travelled together part of the way. It was half after eleven when we got home—the Canaries asleep—the plants uninjured6—but Mr C and I all “brashed to Coom” (as my Annandale brother in law7 would say)—I was so tired I could neither eat nor sleep—and after lying awake all night it seemed when I came down to breakfast as if I had taken on all the load of ailments again, I had kicked off on starting for Scotland—dear dear Scotland! I could have found in my heart to lie down and take the ground in my arms, and kiss it, that morning I came away.—Only it was raining torrents! The Nith bank cloak was really immensely useful in hindering me from being soaked thro', between Scotsbrig and the station— Please tell the kind old ladies that.8— I have hung it up—till next time!— This is only to tell you I am safe home— I am very busy and confused!— I will write soon again— Last night I thought of Thornhill and took some strong brandy negus and slept— God bless you my darling—love to dear Dr Russell—and your Father— Geraldine who is sitting sewing beside me—sends her love and bids me say—she could not put it half into words how grateful she felt to you—for having been so good to me

Your affectionate /

Jane W Carlyle