The Collected Letters, Volume 2


JBW TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 10 May 1823; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18230510-JBW-TC-01; CL 2:350-351.


[10 May 1823]

My dear Friend

Here is a fine consum[m]ation to all our schemes! you will come here to day and find me gone— Muster all your philosophy for I can spare you none of mine— They are driving me distracted among them—my mother all at once got it into her head that I must accompany her to D[umfries]shire—that her visit might not be so short as she would have to make it if I remained here— Besides my wish to remain near you for a few days longer I have other reasons for disliking this project with all my heart— my relations there have treated me with little kindness. I have felt this more than I care to confess—not on my own account for I am no ways dependant on them—but to see them so soon forget all the benefits my adored Father has confer[r]ed on them and all the honour his character has bequeathed to their name is heart-breaking— However so it must be I go— I opposed the proposal manfully for two days—at last my mothers extreme displeasure forced me to yield—it was determined finally only yesterday.

I meant to meet you this morning but my Mother invited a Gentleman here to an early breakfast and desired me to get all my packing over before he came which kept me busy enough[.] If I had only known you was so near the house I would have insisted on seeing you for I was up at the time— And so I must go without a word— we set out in a few minutes for a cousins house about four miles from town where we may remain perhaps a week[—] from thence we pop straight through to D shire— It is impossible to say how much I am vexed—a thousand things are harassing my mind at this present moment[.] My Mother's unkindness is not the least of it— she is resenting my disinclination to go with her as much as she could have done my refusal[.] I am very unhappy— I wish to god I could fall asleep for a twelvemonth— I dread how this year may end—But “I am full of devices”1— You have told me that so often that I begin to believe it— Well! I shall need all my ingenuity to bring me safe to port— do write to me immediately address to me at Mr Binnie's West craigs by Custorphen2 (if that's the way to spell it)[.] I wish you may be able to read a word that I have written with hurry and vexation together I can scarcely hold my pen

Your Affectionate Friend at / all times and every where /

Jane Baillie Welsh

I shall carry the german books with me the other will be lift for you here—you can call for them as soon as you like