January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 9 September 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560909-JWC-MR-01; CL 31: 218-219


Kircaldy Tuesday [9 September 1856]

Dearest Mrs Russell

I have waited till I could fix a time for my long intended visit. But my programme having to adapt itself in some measure to my Husbands; it has been longer than I expected that I have been, myself, kept in uncertainty.

Now it is all right however! Mr Carlyle is off to the Highlands without my needing to accompany him part of the way as was at first proposed—and I may dispose of my two or three remaining weeks in Scotland according to my “own sweet will”—

A great cold which I caught in an overheated Church—just when I was thinking how wonderfully well I had been ever since my departure from London—has curtailed my travels and curtailed my wishes too—Yesterday I wrote execuses1 to three different places where I had promised myself, and have settled to do no more visiting on my account, except the two visits I heartily hold to—to you and to my Brother in-law at Scotsbrig, the one of all my Husbands family that I like best I intend going to Edinr next Monday or Tuesday, staying there all night to take leave of my Aunts at Morningside—then on to Scotsbrig the following day. From there I can easily get to you by railway—and if you are still able to have me—I hope to be at Thornhill about Monday or Tuesday week—If there be any hindrance arisen on your side send a line for me to Mr James Carlyle's / Scotsbrig / Ecclefechan / about the end of next week If I hear nothing to the contrary I will write from there, fixing the particular day when, God willing, I shall give you a good kiss—I try not to think of anything but your own house where all are still alive—and have a welcome for me still, after so many many years!

I hope in Heaven I shall be better before the time come for setting out on my travels again— I would have gone to Dumfriesshire this week—but for that horrid cold which has kept me wretched this fortnight past I am staying with Miss Fergus (Mrs Chrighton's2 cousin) at Kircaldy—There were Babies at Auchtertool and one invalid already (poor little Mary)3 and I thought that in my disorganized state I was better here where there is “ample room and verge enough”4 for any amoung of sniftering—and I am sure it quite suits Miss Fergus's philanthropic disposition to have me sick on her hands—and that she likes me better needing her kindness than independant of it. But oh dear! What ever tempted me when I was so well, to go and “hear” Dr Guthrie—whose Church is just like one of Soyers patent stew-pans!

I wonder if my Aunt Anne be still in Thornhill my love to her if she is

Yours affectionaty5

Jane W Carlyle