The Collected Letters, Volume 13


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 24 April 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410424-JWC-TC-01; CL 13: 112-113


[24? April 1841]


John is writing to you upstairs. You must certainly have got two letters from me by this time, and so, I merely take up this bad pen to “let you know I am in being,” and heartily glad to hear good accounts of your mother—if not the best of your poor self. A letter from my mother had told me before John came that she was much better—God bless me! if you walked into Templand without note of preparation “how dreadful would be the result”!1 for my Mother evidently writing in the idea of your being HERE and the sudden apparition of you there would surely throw her into fits!— My dear Good, I do not like to say make haste to come back—for I can get along tolerably without you for a time—and you hate this poor place so much! but still—I fancy that this knocking about Annandale is not the sort of thing to make you stronger, and that after all that you would mend just as fast in London—bad as it is—beside me

Do not however come a moment sooner on my account—I “am not solitary am not idle”2 ergo, not melancholy— It is amazing the quantity of house-work that turns up for me to do! one would say that the dirt here had come to be like the spot of blood on the key of Blue-beards closet—as fast you rub it on one side it reappears on the other!—but you WILL find us clean when you come back—by the way Helen made a not unjudicious remark on the effect likely to be produced on you by your sojourn among the Aristocracy— I told her that she had scrubbed something very well— “What does't matter” said she—“when the Master comes haim oot o' thai gran hooses, he'll never see the difference between oor clean and dirty”!

Fraser sent a note—for yesterday—along with your letter to him and Emerson's to you3—there was also a book entitled “The Rights of Laymen” five pence three farthing too dear, I am afraid at the sixpence I had to pay for it!4— Also a letter from New York postage 8d½ requesting to be favoured with your Autograph!— How sick I am getting of these Yankees!—

But here comes John looking as restless as need be—so no more blash [watery mixture] at present—

Your affectionate /

Jane Carlyle