1824- 1825

The Collected Letters, Volume 3


JBW TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 20 September 1825; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18250920-JBW-TC-01; CL 3:380-381.


Tuesday night [20 September 1825]


I cannot lie down to sleep until I have written the farewell and the blessing which I was cruelly prevented from speaking. Oh what a sad heart is mine this night! and yours too, I know, is sad; and I cannot comfort you! cannot kiss away the gloom from your brow! Miles of distance are already betwixt us, and when we shall meet again, and where, and how God only knows. Best, dearest love! what I would give to have you here—within my arms for one, one moment! to part so from you! to go on our dreary separate ways without exchanging one word of comfort! Oh God! this is falling from the azure heaven on the miry earth! When shall I be so happy again as I have been in these last weeks? I dare not look into the future—hope seems dead within me. Write my darling and speak consolation if you can. I am very desolate

There is nothing here but confusion and disquiet. It was not Robert1 whom we say. but he is still staying in the house, and tho it were possible to avoid him here I have the prospect of meeting him at Boreland2 on Friday! My Grand-Mother and Aunts have been lecturing to me at great length on the impropriety of “shunning so near a relation like a pestilence”—and I have born[e] it all with patience tho' they might have spared themselves the pains. I needed no instructions of theirs to point out the best to be done in my present circumstances. My resolution was taken before I crossed their threshold to shake hands with my Uncle if he were so disposed. if not to treat him as a stranger who had done me no injury. I shall meet him tomorrow morning, I suppose, at breakfast. What matters it whom I meet so long as I am parted from you?

George was here today and departed only an hour before I arrived— He cannot come again till Thursday. This is all very cross. I found a letter (very kind) from my Mother awaiting me. and two others which I have not had heart to read yet. She makes no comment on my visit to Hoddam hill whatever; but approves of the rest of my arrangements which is so far good. Give my kindest regards to your Mother and all the rest. “While I live or think or love3 I shall retain a grateful recollection of their good will and good offices towards me altho' I could not articulate one word on the subject at parting— God Almighty bless you Soul of my existence! I shall think of you every hour till we meet again[.] In sadness and perplexities we part; but we love each other and in this we are more blessed than millions— Farewell! I am

Your own Jane for ever / and ever

[In margins:] Day is returned but I shall not see you.— No one is waiting for me in the breakfast parlour with glad kind looks. Alas Alas the sab[b]ath weeks are past and gone! Write on Wednesday— I shall not enjoy one happy moment till then— I am yours. Oh that you knew how wholly yours.