The Collected Letters, Volume 4


JWC TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 19 August 1828; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18280819-JWC-TC-01; CL 4:392-394.


Templand Tuesday [19 August 1828]

“Kindest and dearest” of Husbands

Are you thinking you are never to see my sweet face anymore? Indeed this long self-banishment may well surprise you; but when you hear how I have been forced to stay voluntarily1 you will excuse it. The ‘Bundels’2 do not like fresh air, and I get sick in a carriage without it: accordingly by the time we reached Wallace Hall that night, what with their close mode of travelling, and Miss Anderson's green tea I found myself ready to faint. I hoped a sound sleep would put me all to rights; but no sleep was to be had; and the morning found me entirely demolished. In a case of this sort to walk to Templand seemed an impossibility and the Bundel-carriage was gone to Dumfries to fetch old ladies. Mr Anderson (the Minister) was very pressing that I would join my Mother and Agnes at his house at Dinner and so I stayed, simply because I was unable to go away. My Mother was almost frightened into fits when she found me sitting “like a picture” in the room where she was put to take off her shawl. Well I had yawned over the forenoon; I almost groaned over the afternoon, and at length was landed at Templand little more than alive. For once my Mother succeeded in persuading me that I was very bilious and must submit to be treated accordingly. And so I have been spending half the days in bed—taking physic even Castor, brandy also to a considerable extent and various other items “which I am told are to do me good.” In a few days I shall be returned to you a well physiced Goody; On Sunday perhaps you could send William for me with the horses, by which time I expect to have tried the water at Moffat Wells!3

Meanwhile the business I came about is not neglected; Agnes wrote away to Glasgow the other night so that the curtains &c might be sent by the Carrier on Friday. I have ordered them not of chintz but moreen which is against your taste, and hardly according to my own, but the latter article proved on inquiry to be far the thriftier as well as the most comfortable, and therefore the best adapted for our purpose. Carpets are not chaip4 at Glasgow none being manufactured there but I am to get one at Sanquhar as low priced as my grandmothers and of better quality. There are said to be excellent shoes at Sanquhar. it is a pity I have not your measure. in the meantime however I have got from my Mother a pair of waterproof half boots for you which tho' not quite new I am sure will be a great temporal blessing5 provided they fit[.] What progress you will have been making with Burns6 in my absence! I wish I were back to see. and to give you a kiss for every minute I have been absent. But you will not miss me so terribly as I did you. Dearest I do love you! Is it not a proof of this that I am wearying to be back to Craigenputtoch even as it stands, and while every one here is trying to make my stay agreeable to me. indeed I have not been so made of since very long ago; it is a pity my Mother were not always in this humour.

Is there any letter from Jeffrey7 I wonder? I am sure he is to come upon us before we are ready for him.

Excuse this insipid scrawl; I have been sick as death all day with that abominable olium diaboli[.]8 God bless you darling. You will send the horses for me on Sunday and nichts mehr davon [that's all there is to that]! Ever Ever your true Wife

Jane W Carlyle