January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 21 March 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420321-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 77-78


Templand, Monday night 21 March, 1842—

My Dearest—This hand of mine is jerking at such a rate, I almost fear there will be no legible writing got out of it: but I have found there is a second London post daily, and so you may still have a word in the evening, tho' I am too late for your noon delivery,—contrary to my wish and expectation. Wherefore I write, taliter qualiter [one way or the other].

We have been at Craigenputtoch, Jamie and I; and did not get home till past seven; impransi [without food], we found no edible for man, nor, except the corn we carried, for beast. The journey was full of impressiveness, however, and I got several necessary affairs put in forwardness, or completed. Puttoch itself, especially Corson's1 part of it, is such a scene of mouldering putrescent slow ruination, as I have not before in my life seen; order had to be taken with it in several ways. M'Adam's affairs go better;2 but his cattle have been shamefully busy in the woods;—order as to that too. The Wife, poor body, seemed really to grieve for you. With the ass of a man I had to be peremptory and even emphatic. Glen3 is evidently insane without hope of recovery; a tragic sight: I gave him the brass tobacco-box, and left him babbling mere bewilderment. In the silent spring weather, in the brown everlasting moors, it was all a tragic sight.— Our Laurel bush (do you remember it?) is grown a massive dumpy kind of tree. There were other shrubs too that I recommended to the poor lazy slut Corson: he will not cut them at least. Alas, the identical gate still hangs there; I remembered being found smearing it with coal-tar one sunny morning when she came who will never come again! God is above us, my Darling, around us and in us, for Life and for Death; otherwise this world were too cruel a world. Are not our Dead with Him, even as we are? Yes, in very deed.

The picture for Grahame goes with Jamie tomorrow. It was an unexpected volunteer proposal of his to take me up to Craigenputtoch this morning; I found he had made arrangements for the possibility of it before leaving home. It was unexpected: but I managed to have my interview with Jardine here nevertheless,—a very honest-looking careful man, placed here mainly by the successful industry and piety of his son, whom also I thought very well of. It was as good as settled, I have ascertained that he was to have come and taken possession of the Cottage at least by Whitsunday next. I explained today that it was far from my purpose to screw [practice extortion on] two such people; that the market value of the place was &c; that I would take &c &c: in short, I have good hope of getting soon a reasonable respectable and yet as it were charitable bargain made with the man, whereby the place shall become his, and we shall never hear the name of it again. Enough, tonight.

Jamie sends you his affectionate sympathies; more genuine I believe than some that are better worded. Commend me well to the good Cousin Jeannie, and tell her to nurse you well, and we will all remember her help in need. God bless you both.— Tomorrow there will be no post, I suppose. Adieu T. Carlyle

Did I say that your Note came this morning?