January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 10 April 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420410-TC-JWC-01; CL 14: 136-138


Templand, Sunday Afternoon, / 10 April, 1842—

My dear little Wife,—Your good Letter was here with the end of breakfast; I notice with great satisfaction a tone of better health in it: I can see pretty well what health my poor Jeannie is in! All sorts of distress whatsoever, the highest as the lowest, are terribly intensated and embittered by disease of the body. I wish I could hear that you had yet got your drive accomplished. What say you, Cousin Jeannie? The weather here is the beautifullest that can come out of the Heavens: and as for temperature decidedly rather too warm for me in the middle portions of the day!

The thought of Nodes suggests Darwin's want of a groom and servant to me; and in the rear of that a note of interrogation over poor innocent James!1 Did you ever hint of that to Darwin? I know not whether James could at all be trained to do valet-work; but I know he is a very good groom, and a modest faithful-looking creature, who desires much to be a gentleman's servant. Pray apprise Darwin, if he be still vacant. Cousin Jeannie (in defect of all other means) has but to copy out this paragraph and send it by post to Marlbro' Street.— How Evelina2 ever came into my hands I cannot form the faintest guess. I never read the book, never knew it;—perhaps Darwin had recommended it and given it me?

Miss Wilson's visit is all before me. It must have been meant as kindness: but it operates mostly as a sort of stricture of the heart! We must take thankfully what is good; forgive what of evil cannot be amended.

The Times and Chronicle, from Craik and from John this morning, contain long reports of a new Copyright bill, not so bad after all;3 and likely or sure to be passed, this time. A real benefit, tho' a small one.— I read all that; I went wandering by the side of the River for two hours,—the place where we two once crossed it in a flood; the small House visible where your Father and your Mother first met! They have met again now, not to part again: both in the Eternal, whither we fast follow thro' these vortexes of Time! Courage, my poor little Partner: let us journey with faithful heart; we too may arrive well. God Most Wise shall dispose of us according to His Will. Amen.


Tomorrow morning comes the Auctioneer to make up his List. I must on the spur of the moment decide as to all items whether they are to go or to stay. I never had so many things to decide upon, with such defective knowledge of them. On tuesday or tomorrow my Mother goes to Dumfries; I myself have to be there on tuesday evening to meet Adamson: I have appointed Alick or Jamie, or both if they like, to meet me with the gig there and return the same night. On the Wednesday morning early, M'Caig and his man come to pack; I and the whole of us assisting, we hope it may be nearly finished that night. The old chairs in this room (drawingroom, where I am alone, near sunset) still give me pause: Margaret says they are partly “worm-eaten,” but must be mistaken: I have made up my mind that if we can get them to Chelsea at a value of 10/ each, they will be worth bringing; and so in spite of much counter-counsel, they bid fair still to be brought. But we have an enormous load; more than a cartload! We shall see. I shall have to be awake tomorrow, and the coming days; a hugh whirlpool of a thing. Yet when I think of Moreau de St.-Méry, “who gave 3,000 orders before rising from his seat,”4 what have I to say!— On Thursday night I shall probably sleep at Glendinning's:5 on Friday morning (that is your Tuesday) a Letter with the old address will still reach;—nay unless you hear more expressly hold by the old address, for I will at least speak to the postmaster here.— — We have got up 20 secondhand mats; bought by J. Aitken; rather a bargain, I believe, at 9d each. Freight to Liverpool is 3d per cubic foot: each two chairs will cost about 2/6 before they get even thither. The Pickford6 charge, I will guess to be about as much more. That will perhaps still do. I wish I knew what the amount of your love for these poor old chairs is.

Margaret is a good cheery-hearted rational and most handy and punctual creature: I think she would really do well for a servant at Cheyne Row; I will not part with her till I have taken what assurance the case admits, and left fully all your messages with her.— Poor old Mary is still at the preaching at Burnhead;7 poor old body!— I have found a poor violet bush, not yet blown; two buds are here. Nothing can be sadder and yet purer and sweeter than these flowers are as they stand in their loneliness here. Adieu, Dearest: Good be with you ever. Your affectionate / T. Carlyle