January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 20 March 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420320-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 75-76


Templand, Sunday Evg 20 March, 1842—

My dear Jeannie,

On Friday at Scotsbrig I was unwell, of my old complaint; and could hardly at any rate have travelled, the weather was so wild. I got up last night about 9 o'clock; Jamie brought me, by the Gill and Dumfries, with one of his horses, in the Gig. He is to return tomorrow morning; then I am all alone here,—a most melancholy place to me, but a kind of sacred one, of which and of so much else I feel myself as if taking a last farewell. We have had a most still and as it were solemn sunday; Jamie reading one of her Books; I studying to alter the Inscription,—for, as you will see by Robt Macqueen's Letter, the prior one was not what we had imagined it. I have written to your Uncle for farther counsel about the changes requisite. You may return Robert's Letter.— No you need not return it; there is a copy here.

Your Letter among others lay waiting me last night: it was not dated, but I conjectured that friday was your day; as I now find by Helen's Letter just received, that it was. I hope to hear tomorrow that you arrived well without mischance; alas, it was at best a disastrous sad return! My poor Jeannie went away with hope struggling against fear, and now there is neither hope nor fear, only sorrowing love and regret forever henceforth.

The weatherglass shall go as you direct, and also the Book were it ready. I remember with a twinge of the heart how I heard that message of hers, and thought it a mere indifferent one.

Tomorrow I am to see Jardine; he must have the House, I suppose, and the things, except what we like must be sold: I see no other way of it; you cannot be expected ever to wish to behold it again, neither to me is it joyful, but mournful, vacant, all grown into the spectre of a place.

I have today given her Burns to Jamie, and a Copy of the Night Thoughts1 which was once yours; both of which he will prize much. Grahame's picture shall go tomorrow in the Gig. My Mother's little Chair (also a Templand gift) will get its poor little neighbour soon. The small round table here in the dining-room I find I must send to your Uncle, for it was his when a boy.— On the whole you must think as soon as possible (at least as convenient) what things you have room for; what we must leave here. The wardrobe and sideboard I consider are to come at any rate; the “best bed” could stand in our front room up stairs. We shall have time yet to consider farther.

My Mother at parting sent you her sympathy and blessing; “thou must tell her too,” she added, “whatever ye may think of it that I hope she will get this great trouble sanctified to her yet,”—which, I said, I doubted not my poor Jane in her own way was even struggling to attain.

Farewell poor Dearest, God bless thee

Ever affectionately /

T. Carlyle

Two of John's empty covers came to me also; I remembered at last that he was ordered to leave such with Ellen for her convenience; and that he merely had not written.