July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


JWC TO TC ; 15 July 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580715-JWC-TC-01; CL 34: 45-47


5 Cheyne Row / Thursday [15 July 1858]

You wont get much of a letter today, dear; and yesterday you were put off with a volume of Tourgéneff. I came down so weary and sick yesterday morning after a sleepness night, that I thought least said was soonest mended, and, that the day being remarkably fine, I should be doing better for myself, by driving in an Omnibus than by sitting writing at home. So I went to Richmond! by two Omnibuses, so that I had no more walking to do than from the bottom of St Johns Grove to no 19. I found Mrs Welsh1 absolutely alone— she had parted with her little maid from motives of economy; so that the project of changing houses is fallen to the ground, like so many others, as I could not do without somebody to light my fire &c, and Mrs George could not dispense with Charlotte in this house2— Besides I think she has it in view to let her house if possible—as she now considers it would be quite rash to leave it locked up. No matter! I think it is a dreadfully dull little house, and I have no fancy for the “air” of Richmond. I did not however give it a fair trial yesterday; for I missed everything in the form of a dinner and had instead tea—twice over—the first doze—at Richmond—was horribly coarse, and I dare say that with the excitement of the drive was the cause of my having very little sleep after this first “excursion.” I mean to spend a day on Hampstead heath next! No word from Miss Baring and I dare say that scheme wont carry water either. It will need a very cordial invitation indeed to make me go, now, that I know there has been even the most delicate pressure brought to bear on it!

My Aunt Elizabeth has met with another accident—to the same leg3— her foot slipped as she was going down stairs, and she fell backwards, and severely sprained the knee of the fractured leg. Ann4 was to have started for her beloved Nithsdale5 the following morning—her trunks were already at the station. “The hand of the Lord is laid heavily on this family at present”; says Grace, after speaking of John and myself, and Elizabeth— “Eh woman its a true speak!”6

Mary Welsh, Robert's daughter7 called the other day to tell me “a secret”—one knows beforehand what a young Lady's “secret” is— She is going to be married to a Medical Man in good practice at Hull,8 where his Father and Grandfather9 were Doctors before him. He is a widower four and thirty years old with one little boy.10 She had known him for eight years—but he never asked her till two weeks ago— She said it would be “a dreadful blow to Mamma who always expected to get her kept! but Mama was a good woman, and always ready to sacrifice her own happiness to that of her children”!!11

Whenever I get too doleful I think of these “three Tailors12 and the “cloth not going to last” and burst out laughing to the astonishment of Nero and the Canary

Pray read Tourgeneff especially Mou Mou13

Yours ever