January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 11 July 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590711-JWC-MR-01; CL 35: 145-146


Humbie Farm Aberdour / Fife Monday [11 July 1859]

Dearest Mary

You may form some small idea of my weak confusion of mind from the fact that I cannot for my life tell whether I have already written to you from this place or not! It is best to err on the safe side however—and make assurance doubly sure that you have my address.

There it is above!—written very distinctly I flatter myself—as addresses ought always to be! For the rest; our lodging here is all and more than could be expected of sea side quarters. The beautifulest view in the created world!—Rooms enough, wellsized well furnished, and quite clean. Command of what Mr C calls “soft food” for both himself and horse—(as for me soft food is the last sort that I find useful—) And as for air; there can be none purer than this, blowing from the Atlantic,1 fresh on a hill top! Decidedly there is everything here needed for happiness but just one thing—the faculty of being happy! And that unfortunately I had never much of in my best days—and in the days that are, it is lost to me altogether!

I have now been here a fortnight and, all that time have experienced no benefit from “the change”—indeed have felt weaker and more spiritless than before I left home. At first I fancied myself suffering from the fatigues of the journey—but there has been time surely to recover from that—and I am not recovered—

How are you?— I dare say you suffer as much as I do—but you are more patient.

I have a dim recollection of having told you of a letter I had from Mrs Pringle inviting us in a grand manner to come and be done at Lann Hall. I could hardly make my refusal so amiable as common courtesy required— I told her if I passed thro Dumfrieshire at all, I had accepted an invitation from you—and my time would be so short that it would not stand splitting into two visits—but possibly I might call at Lann! You know she is going to be married to a Mr Potts or some such thing one of her trustees?2—— As I don't know his position in society3 I can't say if she has justified your Husbands opinion of her cleverness4

Goodby Dear— Love to your Husband—you have not now no excuse for not writing as you have my address—once if not twice

Yours affectionately /

Jane Carlyle

Whether I get to see you must depend on how I am when the time comes for leaving here— If I am not stronger than at present it will be best for me to go straight home—to my bed!