The Collected Letters, Volume 4


JBW TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 31 August 1826; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18260831-JBW-TC-01; CL 4:128-129.


Templand. Thursday [31 August 1826]

Well, dearest Love, here am I,—escaped alive from horrors as of the bottomless pit. But just alive and nothing more; for my spirit is gone, my intellect gone, my good humour gone, and in short I would hang myself—if certain considerations did not prevent me.

I wonder that among all the evils deprecated in the Liturgy no one thought of inserting flitting.1 Is there any worse thing? Oh no no, from flitting, then, good Lord deliver us!—and from some other ills, too, best unfolded in all their length and breadth when we meet.— And when will that be? Mercy! to think we have not seen each other for a whole year;2 and once, no more than sixteen British miles betwixt us! Oh glorious instance of patience and long suffering! And the annals of our courtship afford many such. But in the other and better world we are about to enter, these Job-inflictions will be all forgotten, or remembered merely as a troubled dream.

Write instantly what day I may look for you. Perhaps it were best you should take Templand on your road to Edinr—but as you like—

The house at Comely Bank is at length completed, and looks pretty and convenient enough—certainly nothing like so commodious and elegant as the one I have left—but, all things considered, likely to answer much better. So here are two steps in the business happily taken. The last is the worst of all—would to God it were over also!

Your letter came in company with one from Mrs Montagu— She is ill— Mr Montagu has been very ill and Mrs Procter all but dead. And still she writes to me—me who am nothing to her but a name—and sends the kindest message to you.3 She is very good, and I rejoice we are both to love her; for otherwise I must have loved her alone.

She says something in a desponding manner about Edward Irving. His little girl is in a bad way; and he himself far from well— Poor Edward.4 The summer day of his exultation has been quickly overcast! But do you know I cannot feel for him at present, I cannot feel for any mortal but myself—

Give my kindest regards to dear John, whom I like as well as he can possibly like me—remember me also in an affectionate manner to all the rest—and to James Johnston if he happens to be near you— You will write on Sunday?— I am almost ashamed to send you such a scrawl but I am got into a way of doing every thing in a hurry—since the flitting—

God forever bless you / Your own

Jane Welsh