The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JANET CARLYLE HANNING ; 15 January 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410115-TC-JCHA-01; CL 13: 18-19


CHELSEA, 15th January, 1841.

DEAR JENNY,— We have heard very frequently from Alick of late about you, for which punctuality we are greatly obliged to him. You have had a bad turn, poor little Jenny, and we were all anxious enough to hear from day to day, as you may believe, how it went with you. Alick reports of late, yesterday in particular, that you are now considered out of danger, steadily getting better. We will hope and believe it so, till we hear otherwise. You must take good care of yourself. This weather is good for no creature, and must be worst of all for one in your situation. Do not venture from the fire at all, till the horrible slush of snow be off the ground.

And what becomes of our good Mother all this time? She could not be at rest of course if she were not beside you, watching over you herself. Alick struggles to report favourably of her, but we have our own apprehensions. What can I do but again and again urge her to take all possible precautions about herself (which however she will not do!) and trust that she may escape without serious mischief. If you were once up again I will fancy you taking care of her. It must be a great comfort to have you so near her—within walking distance in the good season.

We have never had here so ugly a winter: first violent frost, snow &c., then still nastier times of the thawing sort; for a week past there has been nothing but sleet, rime and slobber, the streets half an inch deep with slush and yet a cake of slippery ice lying below that; so in spite of daily and hourly sweeping and scraping, they constantly continue. I, with some few others, go daily out, whatever wind blow. I am covered to the throat in warm wool of various textures and can get into heat in spite of fate. Jane too holds out wonderfully, ventures forth when there is a bright blink once in a week; sits quiet as a mouse when the winds are piping abroad. We understand you are far deeper in snow than we. I believe there is now a good thick quilt of it lying over the entire surface of the Island.

The Doctor was here till Tuesday morning. We saw him daily with much speech and satisfaction. A letter yesterday announced that they were fairly settled in Wight again. He looked as well as need be.

I have sent by Alick a bit half-sovereign to buy the poor new bairn a new pock. You must take it without grumbling. Tell my dear Mother that she must take care of herself, that I will write to her before many days go. Better health to us all. Our kind wishes to Robert.1 Good be with you every one.

Your affectionate brother, /