January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 22 March 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420322-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 78-80


Templand, 22 March, 1842—

My dear Wife,—I will write thee another word today, tho' there is of course almost nothing more to be said. It is the first day of my entire solitude here; a bright pale March Day, defaced with occasional angry gusts of storm. I feel the whole universe, myself and her that is away to be full of mystery, of sorrow and greatness,—godlike, the work wholly of a God. Lament not my poor Jane; as sure as we live, we shall yet go to her, we shall before long join her, and be united, we and all our Loved ones,—even in such way as God Most High has seen good; which way, of all conceivable ways, is it not verily the best? Speak as we will, there is nothing more to be spoken but even this: God is great, God is good; God's will be done. Flesh and blood do rebel, but the Spirit within us all answers, Yes, even so. My poor woman!———

It is not till tomorrow that I am to see the Jardines; but today a Mr Moffat1 called, who proves to be the same Moffat I once used to apply to in agricultural difficulties over at Minnyive; a very sensible good little man, now Banker here; he also has a wish to have house and farm altogether. One way or other we shall get well enough quit of the house. The Jardines are good people whom I have decided to be soft with. Perhaps it would be as satisfactory to one's feelings to know that the long careful trimmings, and dressing up into utmost neatness, of everything here, did not go entirely to waste: yet it were better still that a charitable deed were done with them: I will therefore see at any rate that the Jardines get no damage by this newcomer. It is not to be decidable now till friday.——— I have written to Morton Mill2 that a steady man may be sent to take away the weatherglass: I think it well bestowed.

The house once settled, it will behove us to decide without any delay what we are going to do with the things. I have sent you Helen's List: all but the things in page 3 are already gone towards Chelsea, and of page 3 I have taken a copy. Sideboard, wardrobe and your little chair, these I already decide upon: I would fain know your feeling about any other article you can remember. If not carried to London at once, it might perhaps be got put up in some place or other at Dumfries. Your feeling about the matter is at any rate a thing I want to have before me.

Once or twice today it strikes me: If you did not so dislike Craigenputtoch, might one not carry all over thither, build them together again, and avoid a sale altogether! But this I am afraid is rather wild. I myself have no love for Craigenputtoch (especially with an entire ass3 for sole neighbour); but the place might still be saved, made even neater than ever; and while it continues ours, there is even a kind of necessity for going thither sometimes.4 Corson I think will require to be put away at any rate—at least I will threaten him with that; and put him into Adamson's hands with stricter conditions. He does not even pay his rent well; and he too is trampling about in the woods.— But there is time enough for reconsidering this, which is yet not many hours old.

No letter from you, of course, today; but I shall surely hear a word tomorrow. Poor old Mary Mills goes off every morning about 8, cannot get back till 10; she is ready to run in any and in all directions, poor old creature; and Margaret5 says she is “grand company, an excellent well-living woman.” Margaret herself must have been a blessing,—alas, alas, we little knew! Another wretched creature applies to me today, who was here for two days and then set off; Mrs Russell is much to be thanked.— That came at noon from Sterling.6 I was at Thornhill paying off some wrecks of accounts. So far as I know, there is now no penny owing to any mortal.— Good night, dear Wife; I am for a little more walking this sunset. Adieu, with my blessing.

T. C.