July-December 1858

The Collected Letters, Volume 34


JWC TO TC ; 29 July 1858; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18580729-JWC-TC-01; CL 34: 84-85


Thursday [29 July 1858]

Oh my Dear! my Dear! What did you do with the key of your bureau? There is no vestige of a passport in the upper “little drawer next the fire”—the only drawer which is unlocked—the keys used to lie in that— I have wasted the whole morning in seeking a key to open the top part, or another drawer where the keys may be—and have found only—two of your lost dog whistles!!— I dont like to have the locks picked till it is hopeless finding the key—if you have it or know where you put it, and tell me by Saturday morning, there would just be time to send the passport before I start—but as I tell you, my morning is all wasted! and in the afternoon I must go up to Piccadilly to get some indispensable little items for my visit— I have been kept back these two last days by the coldness of the weather, and my extreme sensitiveness to it—The prospect of going a journey—and living in another persons house—is doing me more harm than probably the reality will do— I could “scream at the idea of it,” sometimes—and write off “oh you must excuse me”!— but again; just the more I feel nervous, the more I need to try anything that may brace my nerves; and, of course, a Doctor would tell me to get rid of this incessant little dry cough, “before October”— I should not say incessant; for in the forenoons, when I hold my tongue, I hardly cough at all—at least it is quite another sort of cough—bringing up phlegm—at intervals—but in the evening—especially if any one comes—it is as incessant, as the chirp of my adopted sparrow!

I am not getting weaker however—except in my mind— I take exercise every day “chiefly in an Omnibus Mr Carlyle”!1—and I try every day to do or see something cheering— I should soon fall into melancholy mania if I didn't— Last evening for example, I had old Mrs Larkin to tea—such a pretty little rough tea! you cant fancy!—and Mr Larkin was so pleased!—and I had Mrs Hawkes2 to talk to them and George Cook3 came accidentally— George Cook is very attentive and sympathetic to me— But the key? the key?

Yours affly

Jane Carlyle