January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 25 March 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420325-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 89-90


Templand, 25 March, 1842—

My dear good Wife,— Your kind and sad little Note arrived this morning. Never mind me and my health; the country with its sacred stillness and freshness is sure to amend me of everything; its very tempests and blustering spring-showers do me good to witness. God's earth! It is good for me, also, to be left quite alone here, alone with my griefs and my sins,—ever as in the presence of one sainted and gone into the Eternal Clearness: God Most High is over us both.

This morning I hear from Adamson about some legacy-tax and the Inventory of effects; I have taken order about it, and answered him: to you this only will be interesting, that she had (if I recollect) £189 lying in the Bank,—so needed not to fear money-straits at least. Heaven be praised for it. O Jeannie what a blessing for us now that we fronted poverty instead of her doing it! Could the Queen's Treasury compensate us, had we basely left her to such a struggle.1

Moffat has just been here; again about that House, which also I had an immense talk with Hunter yesterday concerning; who is to come again today, and then Jardine is to come again! There is no end to these people's quantity of talk. We are all four to meet tomorrow at noon, in Moffat's house at Thornhill, and there and then settle it, if it exceed not human power. It seems to me likeliest that this Moffat, who is a good little fellow, of gentlemanly ways, will get the House, and continue Jardine as he before stood; but for poor Jardine too I mean to insist on a small advantage, such as she had contemplated for him, or an equivalent to such. There is also, it seems, indispensably needful some sort of application from me to “the Duke”;2 this also, after boggling at it for some time, I have put in readiness. One way or other I will be thro' this poor business, and end all talk and thought about it before I be many days or hours older.

This morning I packed up the poor little chair for Scotsbrig; the sight of it standing here, with its poor little cover (I think, an old dressing-gown of yours), made me sad: it is packed, out of my sight, and waits a conveyance to Thornhill I added her Psalm-Book, which she had got from old Mrs Scott at Haddington; and two small religious volumes, unbound, which had no mark of her, Baxter and Doddridge.3——— The old Backgammon Board I think I must give to R. M'Queen; who has already had a Book or two once mine (the German Romance, and two odd American Miscellanies, not good enough for Mrs Russell's stock), for which he seemed very thankful. The little round dumb-waiter does not appear to be in the house now; or I would have snatched it carefully. There is an old School-collection here, which seems once to have been Wm Welsh's;4 but on which also I notice in most crabbed infantine hand a “Jane B Welsh,” which makes it precious for me. Your Picture was packed up by mistake of Mrs Martin or Helen: it now belongs to me.5

The rain has begun falling again; or perhaps I should not have written at present. I will now take my Mackintosh and out before the time come for the mutton-chop. With the people coming, I shall run the risk to get no walking at all otherwise.

Adieu, then, Dearest. If anything be settled tomorrow, you will of course hear of it. Tell me next time that you have got sleep; I pray you may be able! Those melancholy packages may linger for days; compose yourself to front them. My love to Cousin Jeannie. Your affectionate Husband T. Carlyle

Have you ever written to Mrs Sterling? Or will you make Jeannie write?—