The Collected Letters, Volume 27


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 24 February 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520224-JWC-MR-01; CL 27: 52-53


5 Cheyne Row / Chelsea / 24th February [1852]

My dear Mrs Russell

If it be as cold at Thornhill today as it is here at Chelsea, you will give me some credit for having preserved my recollections of old Mary unfrozen with all the rest of my body and soul.— I believe it is about the time for transmitting her money—at all events tomorrow is the 25th—a sad anniversary for old Mary1 as well as for me. and which naturally brings her into my mind. with an apprehension of her being left a day without something in hand—that is something in your hands—

I send an order on the Bank this time—which will save me a journey to the post office here— You have a Bank at Thornhill? I dont know if you are aware that my Cousin Helen2 has been very ill again— That enlargement which my Brother in law would have to be nothing more serious than some inflation of the stomach from indigestion has now declared itself the Liverpool Drs say to be dropsey in the womb— I had always understood this malady to be incurable and very painful. Nevertheless her Dr Ellison,3 says he has known several cases of perfect cure!— How it will be God only knows, but I have little hope. nor any of perfect cure for her. tho' I put the best face I can on the matter to the others— My poor Uncle is kept quite ignorant of their new view of her disorder—as every thing that agitates him brings on a fit

It is very unfortunate that I am so far away from them—afflicted as that once merry household has got to be—

For myself I keep on foot in spite of the cold, and am certainly growing stronger as I grow older— Mr C too I think has been really a little healthier since his sojourn at Malvern—both of us take a cold bath the first thing on getting up whatever the temperature; and to that I attribute my successful defiance of the frost this winter— Nero is best of all—and has not been stolen for nearly a twelmonth—he continues to engross all my superfluous affections—tho I trust I dont make such a fool of myself as poor Mrs Mundell used to do.4

Is your Husband much relieved by having got a partner? my Father used to find that the patients would never accept the Partner if they could possibly get himself

I want you to do something for me next Autumn if we be all alive—to employ some old woman or children to gather me all the cranberries of the neighbourhood—that I may preserve them— Mr C brought me about a tumblerful from Scotsbrig and I preserved them and the success they have had was very conspicuous—

Goodby dear / Mrs Russell / Yours affectionately /

Jane Carlyle