January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 9 March 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420309-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 64-66


Templand, 9 March, 1842—

My Dearest,— Will you not write me a little bulletin with your own hand? Our Cousins' accounts are better and always better; but we hear of sleepless nights, Doctors, and sleep procured by medicine:—I intreat thee, my poor little woman, compose thy sad heart: alas, alas, I bid thee cease to be miserable, and thou canst not cease! The stroke that has fallen is indeed irreparable; and tears, hot sorrowful tears are due to the Departed who will meet us here no more. “We shall go to her, she shall not return to us.”1 So it was in the Psalmist David's time, so it is in ours, and will be to the end of the world. A world long ago defined as “a vale of tears”;2—in which, if we did not know of a very truth that GOD presided over it, and did incessantly guide it towards Good and not towards Evil, we were inconsolably wretched.—

I approve much of Dr Neill;3 much of the drive in a carriage,—pray persist in that daily, if there be any glimpse of sun, or weather in which you dare venture out. And also write to me! One little word; it is very sad, this utter muteness.

Last night as Alick will tell you, I went down with him to Dumfries; I saw Adamson for a while, who reported that all was in clearness and settlement, or nearly so, so far as he stood concerned; but that Hunter of Morton Mill was the authority on this Templand matter. Him, what with wet nights, what with “letting of tolls,”4 we have never yet managed to see; but are to try it again this night. Your uncle and I are nearly thro' the accounts: he pleads hard that he might be allowed to “pay the half” along with me; but will yield to my peremptoriness: I explain to him that it is all mine to pay, as much as my own coat is. The Books are sent to Mrs Dr Russell, whom we called on yesterday,—a very kind and faithful-looking woman: her old father too we honoured as a worthy friend of one who was left too friendless here.5 I said to Mrs Russell that you never meant to revisit this region; but had expressed in sad words the hope that you could see her once again, and thank her for what she had done. They invited us to dinner for Friday next with Aird &c:6 of course we declined.— Helen and Mrs Martin are busy this third day: they are packing up many things in the wardrobe; others, I suppose, must go in Boxes. Your uncle declines almost everything,—his old Father's7 desk &c; he says he does not like to keep such things about him; they but make him uselessly sad.— Robert M'Queen still continues here;8 sleeping at Thornhill: I think I must give him some Book or other memorial; your Uncle means that he should get a large quantity of sugar &c that had been sent over hither.

Yesterday I saw Jardine the tenant here:9 a son of his wishes to take this house, “at whatever it is worth”: I believe we shall get some bargain made out of it, and a settlement effected before very long. Were you once back at Chelsea you will be better able to tell me what things you can find room for, or specially wish to save.

About Monday, it seems, they expect all to go off for Liverpool: I will go down with them to Dumfries, consult Adamson &c, and then probably over into Annandale for a day. I think of keeping Peggy Hiddlestone here till all is finished: she pleases me much,—the face of her must have been a solacement in those sad days.

I have written many Letters; one to poor Betty,10 among others; whose poor scrawl, received this morning will affect you, as it has done me.——— But above and before all things, my Dearest, try to get some sleep. Opium itself is better than sleeplessness. I will write a word tomorrow. Adieu, God's Peace be with thee!

T. Carlyle