August-December 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 15


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 15 December 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18421215-JWC-MR-01; CL 15: 231-232


5 Cheyne Row / Chelsea [15 December 1842]

My dearest Mrs Russel

I meant to have written to you yesterday along with my letter for Margaret but how to write to you without mentioning the purport of my writing to her, and how very much I had it at heart that she should come? And then if it so happened that she applied to you for advice—as is likely enough—and that your real opinion was she had better remain with her children?— Between the two, you were thus, it seemed to me, going to find yourself in a constrained position in which it was hardly fair to place you. But now this morning comes another consideration— (I have such a way of tormenting myself with all sorts of out-of-the-way considerations!) viz: that you might think it unkind of me to send a letter to your care without a word—and unkindness towards you—is what I could not bear to lie under the smallest suspicion of—even for a moment— Oh no my dear Mrs Russel—tho I should never see you more, not hear from you more, I shall think of you, and love you, and be grateful to you as long as I live. But for the knowledge of what you did for her,1 and how thankfully she felt it— I know not how I should ever have brought myself to think of her last weeks with any degree of composure— As it was; God knows there still remains enough to feel eternal regrets about—but without a friend like you, to make her feel that she was not quite alone with her sickness and her vexations, it would have been unspeakably worse for her then, and for me now—

How grieved I was that I happened to be absent during your Fathers stay in London. I felt somehow as if he had come from her—had brought me kind messages from her—and I had missed him!— I would have returned immediately on purpose to see him—but they knew that I would, and so did not tell me until it was too late— But he will come again having found how easy it is?— Will he not, and bring you with him?— Oh I should like so well to have you here!

I am always very weakly in health, tho' better than when I last wrote to you— At present my Brother-in-law has put me on a course of blue-pill for pain in my side— But until I turn what health and strength I have to better account I have no business to regret that I have not more— I wish you would write to me some day and tell me about old Mary2 and all the people— Thornhill and Templand and every thing about there is often as distinct before my eyes as the house and street I am actually living in—but as it was—as it must be now I can never bring myself to figure it— Give my kindest regards to your Father and Husband— I felt your Father's letter very kind— God bless you dear Mrs Russel

Ever your affectionate

Jane W Carlyle