January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 2 March 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420302-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 54-55


Chelsea, Wednesday [2 March 1842]

My Dearest,

Yesterday I ordered a suit of Clothes and a hat: they are to be ready tomorrow morning at ten o'clock;—I consider now whether I could not have them two hours earlier, and so get away at eleven o'clock? I will make the attempt this evening again. If anybody will call at the Post-Office tomorrow evening (for there must be an evening mail too at Liverpool) you would learn whether I am to be expected that evening at nine, or not. Failing nine, expect me next morning by the train you came by: and in that case, I must make no halt, but rush right on, to be at Dumfries and Templand some time in that same night. I wrote to your uncle yesterday; describing our positions. I have written again today; engaging to be at Templand, some time in Friday night,—on the supposition that the sad solemnity is appointed for Saturday, which I think the probablest. If it be not, but for an earlier day? I will hope otherwise, for in that case impossibility intervenes,— I have made my Book1 ready for the Printer, all but the last Lecture, which I shall finish tonight; I have settled what things I could,—with my own self so unsettled.

On the whole, it will clearly be much better if I can get off at eleven; and I will certainly make a vigorous attempt again. It is the probablest way of it; but not the absolutely certain one. If I fail, and the Funeral be on Saturday (as I suppose you will know by that time), it may for aught I know be necessary to my getting on to Dumfries that night, that some preliminary bookings or I know not what be gone thro', in regard to getting into a coach at Lancaster: will Alick if he is with you, or some other if he is not, be so kind as have this managed for me,—if indeed there be anything to manage.2 I must get on.

Dearest, I fear you are very ill, as truly will be no wonder at all. My poor little Jean!— It is very doubtful to me whether you ought to go on: it will depend on your own state, and whether you can have any composure where you are. We shall see when we meet. Alas, the duties you have to do there now are of a very secondary sort; but they are duties.

Compose thyself my poor little Wife; sorrow, but not as the unwise. Ah me, it is sorrowful, a right bitter sorrow! But God has done it; He and no other: there we must all of us rest.

I will write no more at present; I have enough else to do. Adieu till Thursday night or Friday morning.

Ever your affectionate /

T. Carlyle