April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 18 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440718-JWC-MR-01; CL 18: 145-146


Maryland Street, Liverpool. [18th July 1844]

Dearest Mrs. Russell,

Thanks for your unwearied kindness. The first of your Letters forwarded from Chelsea, was awaiting me here on my return, and the other came yesterday in due course.

I have now the pleasure of paying my small debt to you so soon as the deluge of rain which has hindered me from going down to the Post-office would allow. Do not take the trouble of acknowledging this in writing, only as one has no great reason to put trust in the English Post at present, you can send me an old Newspaper addressed to Chelsea the beginning of next week, as a token that it is all right.

I find my Cousins in the midst of preserve-making—an operation which they carry on in this house on a scale that one stands amazed before, “as in the presence of the Infinite”! My Uncle is much as I left him: really very well to look at, except for his feebleness in walking; his good humour is a continual surprise to me, considering his natural impatience and the irritating restrictions which he has to live under. He will sit through a long dinner eating only his mashed potatoes (By the way does Dr. Russell think mashed potatoes a wholesome diet? I don't, tho' the Doctors here tell him he may take any quantity of that!) as content apparently to see the others filled with good things as if he were enjoying them himself. There is a prodigious quantity of human faculty expended on the business of eating in this place; it looks very strange to me after London where the people eat certainly, but without any appearance of thinking about it.

I go to Manchester on Saturday to stay two days with a very dear friend I have there, and then home. My absence has been longer than I originally intended; but I have heard from my Husband every day (!) that he was getting on well enough without me, and it is not easy to get away from so many kind friends as I have here.

Often I look towards the North with sorrowful thoughts enough. How I used to shudder before the prospect of this sea on which I was always so sick!— O, if I might cross it now, once more on the same errand,1 what would I care for all the sea sickness in the world!— Love to your Husband and Father.

God bless you.

Your ever gratefull and affectionate

Jane Carlyle.