January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


JWC TO ALEXANDER GILCHRIST ; 28 January 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590128-JWC-AGI-01; CL 35: 12-13


[ca. late January 1859]

Dear Mr Gilchrist

Your note has shocked and grieved us both extremely. We hadn't a notion of this!1 Every time I have sent to ask for your wife, the answer has been that she was “doing nicely” or that she was “better” or had had “a better night,” except once, when Charlotte brought back word of her “having been very poorly the day before, but that she had had a better night.”

I trust in God you will soon be out of anxiety about her; Nature doing for her restoration what the Drs don't know to do!

Meanwhile depend on my taking all possible pains to keep things quiet. I have tied up our knocker, and the dog2 shall be carried out and in— Indeed it is only his master that has no authority over him to stop his barking. I had been fearing that he might annoy your wife, without knowing how ill she was, and have several times run down to pick him up—after the mischief was done— But he shall be carried quite out of the street.3

If I can be of the least use to you in any way— Taking charge of the children4—when the servants are busy—going to shops—or anything—I should really take it kind of you to tell me.

I have, you know, a great debt of gratitude to your poor wife for very much kindness and help to myself in sickness

Yours very sincerely

Jane W Carlyle