January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE ; 10 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560810-JWC-TC-01; CL 31: 165-166


Sunny Bank / Sunday [10 August 1856]

If you have not written to Craigen Villa—don't1—for I am not going from here for a week to come!

When I spoke this morning of going tomorrow or Tuesday, both Miss Donaldson and Miss Jess cried out, as if I had struck them a blow: and then one took my right hand and the other my left, and with tears running down their old cheeks, they prayed I wouldn't “go away just when I was come” they had “thought I would stay a month at the least”— I tryed to “be firm”—but when Miss Donaldson laid her wee, wet face to mine; and said “Bairn, Bairn, Ye're no to speak o' it”! I could do no otherwise than just say, I would stay over the whole of next week. My Aunts will be ‘vaixed’; for poor Ann had put off her journey to Dumfries a week, to see me on my return—And I doubt if I shall be able to stay even one night with them; as Jeanie (my Cousin) is going to the Manse to see me the end of this incoming week—and if she cant wait long, I must go straight back to Auchtertool from here— It will be best for my health—the gass and the carts taken into account, but I didn't want to disoblige them (my aunts) for the sake of two or even three sleepless nights— I who have so many in natural course. I must write to them by the post, and to Maggie, so I have not time to enter on particulars; indeed there is little, outwardly, to tell— It has rained so incessantly that I have been only twice across the threshold.— One of the times I went to see Miss Scott,2 who lies always in bed now, but looks remarkably hale and clear—she didnt recognise me the least in the world—wouldn't believe it was me even when told— What a woman my “Godmother is! she is 86 (!) and is the clearest, honestest most humourous, most warmhearted creature I have talked with for years! and oh so beautiful to look at!


Jane W C