January 1835-June 1836

The Collected Letters, Volume 8


TC TO JANET CARLYLE; 4 June 1835; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18350604-TC-JCHA-01; CL 8:133-134.


Chelsea, 4th June, 1835—

My Dear Jenny,

Alick, writing to me yesterday, mentions among other things, that you are shorted [annoyed] (as he phrases it) because I have not written.1 Can it be possible your good little heart has got so far out of its right movement as to be angry at me! I do not believe a word of it. The utmost is (and this I had overlooked), you feel that your sisterly love was clear and entire towards me; that I, by not writing expressly on the matter, have as good as slighted it as of no account. Dear little Jenny! it is not unnatural, but perfectly erroneous. Young woman was never farther wrong. As you would know, were you here with your own eyes to see. My dear Sister, let no such now or henceforth enter your kind little heart. Depend upon it, su[ch] come of the Devil (tho' in a disguised shape), and ought [to be] dismissed back to him.

I have a kind of headache, and cannot wr[ite] farther to you today. It would give me very great sa[tis]faction indeed to know accurately what you are abou[t] and how you go on. I hope to see farther and clearlier into it all, when I come back; which, tho' the Dr has not written yet, I trust will not be distant now. Alick says you are going to the Dumfries Schools again over summer; a step he seems not to be very sure of. Certainly, if you hope to learn something that will [be] profitable, there is nothing more adviseable than to go. Nothing that a human creature can do is at [all] times so inevitably right as to learn something. [There]fore go, my dear Jenny, if it so seem to thee.

Alick says there has been some sort of dispute between Jean's people and Uncle John,2 and that my Mother had an opportunity of delivering herself of that accusation she has long harboured against the unjust Uncle. Her grievance seemed to me always indisputably well founded; and I am glad she has, one good time, got it uttered. For the rest, let us trust the dispute will assuage itself, and no wrong be done to either party. Wrath is a thing that comes not from Heaven; tho' unluckily, among fallen mortals, it will sometimes arise. Remember me to Jean and James when you see them: I trust I am not in their debt as to Letters; at all events, tell them that if they shorten upon me, it will be the greatest injustice ever done to any man. And do not you shorten, my dear little Bairn; but lengthen, and know that if you take anything amiss, it is for mere want of seeing how it really was; that of all delusions Satan could tempt you with, that of wanting my brotherly affection, now and always while we inhabit the Earth together, is the most delusive. Oh that is not true, and never can be.— Finally my dear Jenny I must for this brief time be going. Keep diligent, cheerful, ready to improve the passing hour, and make the most and best of it. Jane sends you her true love. May all Good be with you always! Your affectionate Brother,— T. Carlyle—