January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 7 March 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420307-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 59-60


Templand, Monday, 7 March 1842—

My poor Jeannie,

Today I have sorted all the Papers with your Uncle: they are all tied up, sealed, and the places where they were found are marked. Not a clipping has been destroyed. There is no writing for you; and but a few of your late Letters here. Helen and Mrs Martin1 are sorting the wearing things and ornaments: we will try to send the papers and what else is portable with Alick and Johnny, who go tomorrow.— Today is so tempestuous and wet, it seems uncertain whether your Uncle and I will get up to Morton Mill,2—as I arranged on Saturday Night that we were to do; it was all I could make out that night. Tomorrow I must try to get down with Alick to Dumfries, and have a meeting with Adamson.3 It looks as if it would be a tedious matter getting daylight and arrangement introduced into all the uncertainties and obscurities here. We are still a great crowd: silence and meditation will be necessary first.

We went all to the Church yesterday; the Minister (Murray of Morton) had a kind of Sermon appropriate to the occasion, as I thought: James Menteith &c waited to condole with us at the door.4 I hope it was right, I gave half a sovereign at the plate. The day was bright; beautiful to me and solemn, as the memento of other worlds.

I wrote to Harriet,5 to Thomas Erskine, a line also to Jeffrey. Was that all?

The Letter from my Sister Jean only came this morning: the Saturday one I talked of was forgotten, and on the morrow it turned out to be from somebody “Primrose Wilson,” whom they all know, and whom I suppose you know,— the late Landlady of the Commercial Inn.6

Mary Mills is to be attended to: your Uncle had already bought her a suit of mourning; and insists on adding £3 if I give five a-year. The mournings, accounts &c he understands that I am to pay.

The look of this Peggy Hiddlestone would be some comfort to you: a decent widow, of some five-and-thirty, with a face of much intelligence, honesty, affection and patient suffering: she also seems a most expert servant. One has a feeling of comfort to think that she was here. It seems she had offered long ago to come; but the wretched “Mary” concealed it from her mistress,— anxious to be important and alone important!——— The other girl is a frightful blockhead: ah me!—

There came a Note from Forster yesterday, and one from Emily Taylor: no importance.7

They say you are up, in the letter of this morning; I hope there is no mistake about the meaning of that. To Chelsea with Jeannie; there is no course but that, and at the earliest day.

All this House is like a Ghost to me: yet so still, clear and pure, like a kind of blessed Spirit. The old feathers and gran-ears stick in the bottles on this mantelpiece (the green room); there are two pennies with bits of wax on them,— Helen thinks they are memorials of John Greig or Mr Bradfute.8

I am in great haste, and add no other word, but my blessings and prayers.

Your affectionate /

T. Carlyle