The Collected Letters, Volume 27


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 15 March 1852; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18520315-JWC-MR-01; CL 27: 70-71


5 Cheyne Row / Monday [15 March 1852]?

My dear Mrs Russell

I am thoroughly ashamed of myself, for having let so many days pass over without telling you of the safe arrival of the sweetbriars, and returning you my heartiest thanks for them. I was unusually busy or perhaps I should rather say unusually idle all last week. a succession of callers every day; and Plays and parties in the evenings. I had not been to the Theatre for a couple of years, and last week I was at two Plays besides to a Conjuror—gaities never coming single any more than misfortunes! The fact is I have a very interesting German Family living near me at present,1 who serve me in the room of children as excuses for going after amusements—

I hear often from Maryland Street: Jeanie writes now, Maggie being gone on a visit to Cheltnam for a week or so— I suppose she was tired with nursing, poor little thing!— Helen continues to be the subject of much discussion amongst her three Doctors— Oh! if she had just one good one!— They cannot agree about the certainty of the dropsy in the womb—the dropsy on the stomach is quite made out—but the other is a certainty for only Dr Ellison Dr Vose2 has some doubt of it and Dr somebody else “very great doubt indeed”! Meanwhile they are tormenting her with some terribly strong medecine—Jeanie says her general health and strength would be very good but for the effects of this medecine.— My Uncle continues well— I never understood till I got your last letter that Dr Russell had taken into Banking— You said in one letter a good while ago that he would now have less to fatigue him—and I could not imagine why—till afterwards I saw in the newspaper that he had taken a Partner—but I did not know of the Bank, still—

I am very frightened for these sharp frosty winds killing my poor little slips— they got quite properly planted right side up, by an old gardner, the same hour they were taken from the box—I would not trust to my own no-skill—

Did I ever tell you that I have a beautiful view of Drumlanrig3 hanging in this room? it was done by Lady Ashburton who showed it me one day as a mere sketch and I wouldnt give it her again—I wish some one would do me a sketch of Templand4— Do you know an accomplished young Lady up to such a thing?

And now goodby— I have a sewing-woman in the house today and must seek her work— She had an operation for Cancer in the breast five weeks ago! the third—and there is the poor soul thankful to get a days sewing! two of the operations were performed under cholroform—and never felt—

affectionately yours

Jane Carlyle