January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 24 March 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420324-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 87-88


Templand, 24 March, 1842—

My Dearest,—Accept a little word again today. Your Letter was hardly gone by Mary Mills for Thornhill, when by another route the dilatory Jardine brought this which I enclose from your uncle.1 So soon as you return the Inscription approved, I will set forward in it. I called on the Russells in my moonlight walk. Their still, low room, the good old Dobie and his good Daughter affected me beneficently: a very warm elderly woman in black sat there also, and said nothing; the assiduous Dr exerted himself to talk: seeing symptoms of supper-preparations I took my leave.

Today the post hitherto yields nothing, save a Dumfries Courier, in which I notice the sudden death of Archdeacon Singleton, at Alnwick,2 apparently by apoplexy. Death's shafts fly thick.

Morton-Mill, as they call him, has this morning sent over poor old Charles3 to fetch the weatherglass; I enclose his Note: the poor man, when he reentered this room, seemed truly affected; the sight of him affected me.

I have written to Mrs Stanger. Also to MacDiarmid,4 about a Tenant for Craigenputtoch House. Nothing will come of that, I believe; but it seemed worth trying. I have summoned Corson to meet me next Wednesday at Dumfries, with a “slater,” whose services are needed. I have also appointed to see Stewart of Gillenbie then; and others.

Margaret tells me this morning there is a new stair-carpet and lobby-carpet (the old indeed is nearly done); made, I suppose, partly by her hands: this of course we will retain too; the other can be given to some one. The stool you spoke of is the little mahogany round one with three legs, which was once ours? There are some three others in different parts of the house, all with traces of her about them; none of these either shall be sold.— Alas, what a day or two my poor Jeannie must have had, opening of these boxes: This, then, is all that I now have of my blessed Mother; woe is me!— My poor Darling, how can I say that it is not sad, a thing worthy of tears wrung from the very heart? God comfort thee.

A certain Mrs Black5 some kind of connexion, living about Cluden Bridge, speaks of wishing to purchase the Cow “by private bargain”: if she seems to mean honestly when I speak with her, she shall be preferred.

Business goes on with horrible slowness in this region. One of my chief businesses must be to expedite it, what I can. If I have to stay for any time, I will endeavour after some work of my own, and then be patienter of slowness.

Take care of thy health, dear Wife; I charge Jeannie to take thee out into the sunshine. Get one of Nodes's6 flyes and drive out fairly into the country,—do this; the sight of God's green ground will do you good. The Wandsworth ride is eligible; still more so Dulwich, Norwood and that South-eastern region on the same side of the river. If Mrs Rich be coming soon, you may wait till she also be there, if you like that better— Jeannie Welsh of Liverpool, I commit this to thee; see that it be done, and when there is sunshine, my good Cousin!

And so adieu my poor Goody for this day. I am to walk towards Morton-Mill; with the chance not with the certainty of finding Hunter there. It will be a walk at any rate. God's blessing on you, and comfort from the everlasting Fountain of such. Your affectionate, T. Carlyle