The Collected Letters, Volume 4


JBW TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 15 January 1826; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18260115-JBW-TC-01; CL 4:13-14.


Haddington Sunday [15 January 1826]

My Dearest

The annunciation contained in your last letter has bewildered my intellect to such a degree, that I should hardly, I believe have minded the injunction to write on Monday were it not that I want your immediate counsel on a no less important subject than the affair of Schawbrae. Mrs Chrighton has written to say that “till the last day for taking offers her husband was on the look out for my friend; but that no such person appearing, nothing of course could be said or done”— Now, in all the world was there ever such an incomprehensible piece of bungling? It was utterly impossible for any one to misunderstand my letter which was legibly written and worded to the comprehension of the meanest capacity and Mr Chrighton could not but be aware that a person bearing the name of Carlyle had made him an offer of two hundred and thirty pounds. Let me know as soon as possible when the farms are to be let, and what you think best to be done— If the matter is to rest till the Major's return from London you could perhaps see him yourself, and I would give you an introduction to him. If not, I will—do any thing you bid me. Positively I am more annoyed at this contretems, than at the idea of your departing without my seeing you, tho' that God knows is vexatious enough—

Last night I had serious thoughts of setting out for Edinr forthwith in spite of all and sundry objections; I felt as if it would do me a world of good just to fall upon your neck and weep, and tell you once more what I have told you so often already, that you are dearer to me than aught on earth— But it must not be! Things are bad enough already; I must not make them worse if I can help it— And you will return ere long, to take up house with Mary and Jane in the middle of a walled garden? Indeed you will do no such thing, for this project you will find on reflection to be none of the wisest. The Bavaria one pleases me just as little, unless the German Potentate would find room in his establis[h]ment for me also; otherwis[e] you may tell Mr Leslie if he says any more on the subject that you have got a wife to take care of at home. Meanwhile she must take care of herself, and close her letter, short as it is, and go to bed for her head is aching beyond all bearing.

God bless you— I will write at very great length some other time— I am for ever Yours Jane B Welsh

my kind love to John— The schoolmast[er] affair is looking rather more promising again[.] Lord Wemyss to save his conscience is not to vote at all, and there is some hope that Mr Fletcher will either do the same or vote as we wish—