September 1864-April 1865

The Collected Letters, Volume 41


TC TO JWC; 27 September 1864; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18640927-TC-JWC-01; CL 41:52-53.


Chelsea, 27 Septr, 1864—

Rather better news, Dear; but still so bad! I say to myself, How gladly wd she send me good, if she had them, poor suffering soul!— But come, we must [not]1 aggravate the bad prospect to ourselves. It is no wonder, as Jean says, that you are “black ‘based2 (abased, it was a phrase of my Mother’s) “at such a journey lying ahead”:3 but the real likelihood is, it will pass witht essential damage to you, perhaps witht more pain than you suffer in yr chair there;—and you will get to me “on Saty morning abt 10” (John says, who seems in the best dispositns, poor soul); and find me at last, and what “home” we have in this vexed Earth: true to one another, while we stay here! The House is quite ready; really clean and bright; yr bedroom (Mary sleeping in it, every night, and a fire to be, on and after this night) a fine white room witht pictures;—drawingroom do, and looks a good deal bigger; chintzes all fresh,— and heart still fresh, my own poor heavy-laden little Woman! The weather is settled dry (not the least fog visible more), and the nights not so cold but you can easily defend yrself: I find my summer coat (trowsers are generally thicker, but these also I often wore in Marina) still the preferable generally, winter one too warm if I take it out about midnight. Come, Darling; pluck up, I know you will! Mary can make you excellt coffee, do tea (Fortnum & M.’s);4 you can have excellt white bread of her’s (if you don’t press for the brown as I do), & there is always Addiscombe butter extremely good. But there can be time, as you say, for all this. Oh may you sleep, sleep till then; and arrive to me unhurt! Dr Russell, whose sound human sense in regard to all these matters is so conspics to me, & such a blessed novelty in the busss, speaks what I have always felt abt yr disease; you can still eat and drink,—and you must; and that, so far as I can understand, is still more vital than sleep itself. Courage, courage, poor little Dear; there are better days coming for us yet!—

I shall not be long with my Book now. I am just at prest in what I almost reckon the worst of all the Chapters in Part Last; and I have cut up, better than expected, today and yesternight. For the rest, no news whatever. On Sunday in Belgrave Square I met the “Dean of Westminster” (innocent heterodox soul, “blasé on toast & water”) coming along with his neat black-eyed (rather bead-eyed) little Scotch Wife5 (a Dr6 of the late Ld Elgin’s whom I think you never saw, and reminding one of him):7 oh what inqui[ri]es8 &c,—really very innocent people, & really interested in you;—are coming back in Novr; and will then call (absolutely gratis one’s bit of acquaintanceship, friendly relatnship, till then)— Another day, last week, I rode to leave a card for Miss Bromley: approaching the House, I saw her getting into her carriage; cantered up still in time: “Ohee Ohee” (and blushed really kindly)—“just going to Ascot for a visit of 3 days; will call, the end of this week, and hear of HER coming” &c. Lady Ashbn she seemed really to be grieved abt; and I have not yet written.

It is striking 4; I had to send Noggs and his Boy-Groom9 off agn (so belated with my sheets) Noggs is standing with his tail to the manger, impattly expecting me. God bless you, Dearest