January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART ; 26 March 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420326-TC-JGL-01; CL 14: 96


Templand, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire 26. March, 1842—

Dear Lockhart,

An event has occurred here, of which, tho' it can only concern you thro' me, I think I should apprise you. My poor wife's Mother, Mrs Welsh of this place, has been unexpectedly called away by death. She was a person of much generosity and worth; whose very frailties and failings, being, as they were, all virtues in a state of obstruction and terrene imprisonment, now make one love her more; now that the imprisonment has broken down, and all has melted into clearness and Eternity! My Wife, her only Daughter and Child, has returned to Chelsea; her Letters still betoken extreme misery and disconsolation.

Mrs Welsh was a Widow, and her Father had died here, and before him her Sister: this establishment is now to be abandoned and terminated. You can fancy what all that will mean for me. Rough country businesses, with the poor passions and avidities of rustic men occupy me for a part of every day: I keep myself all alone otherwise; alone with the old Hills and Rivers, with God's Universe and the Spirits of the Dead. I am to be here yet, I suppose, for a matter of three weeks. You need not write to me; send me a friendly thought in silence.

It is often far longer than this that I do not see you: but I feel as if, were I within four miles of you at present, not even London should keep me from exchanging a few words with a thinking man. Adieu. I remain

Yours very truly always /

T. Carlyle

This Mrs Welsh was the owner of the little Dog Shandy, which used to run about the feet of Sir Walter Scott.1 Ah me!———