August 1857-June 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 33


JWC TO MARY CARLYLE AUSTIN ; 25 December 1857; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18571225-JWC-MCA-01; CL 33: 138


5 Cheyne Row Chelsea / Xmas day [25 December 1857]

My dear Mary

I understood that your Brother would write himself today, to announce the safe arrival of your box—the contents of which were exhibited to him in succession last night, (When it came to the goose, carried in on my arms, like a strange new kind of Baby (with that belly-band about it!) he burst into such a laugh! “That fellow I think has got his quietus”1 (he said—) But now he has just come down and is off for his ride, and when I asked; “had he written to Mary”? he exclaimed wildly that he had “fifteen hours of the most awful work, of correcting proofs a-head of him—that I who had nothing to do should have written to Mary”— With all the pleasure in life! had I known in time; instead of within just half an hour of post time—from which is to be subtracted ten minutes for putting on my things and running to the post office!— But better a line than no letter at all till tomorrow—you thinking the while that all those blessed birds may be coming to harm—from being too long on the road! no my Dear! one “Chuka” is boiling at this moment for the masters dinner (I dine on anything at two o'clock; not being up to waiting for Mr C's six or seven o clock dinners)— But I had one of the eggs to my breakfast and it was the very best and biggest I ever eat in my life!—there were only two broken and not wasted even these: I lifted up the yokes which lay quite round and whole in a spoon! (for puddings)—

I wish I had begun in time for I had plenty of things to say—but I must keep for this time to mere acknowlegement of your present—another day I may tell you the rest Yours ever affectionately

Jane Carlyle