The Collected Letters, Volume 2


JBW TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 14 May 1823; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18230514-JBW-TC-01; CL 2:357-358.


Corstorphine / 14th May [1823]

My dear Friend

I was bewailing the “extreme enviableness of my situation”1 when your two letters were put into my hand— I read the last first so I may thank the negligence of the Co[r]storphine post-master, for being spared this second disappointment my evil genius had prepared for me, and which I was not in a humour to have endured with any patience— I wish it had been so ordered that you had come here— The people I am with are highland-hearted, and would give a warm welcome to any friend of mine—but it is needless to speak of that now— You would pity me if you could witness my situation[.] Except a bible a book of psalms and a volume of Blair's sermons, I can find nothing to read in the whole house— I left my German (like an Ass) in the great trunk that is destined for Dumfriesshire[—] it has rained almost incessantly since ever we left Edinr so that I cannot get across the threshold[.] The carachters [sic] within doors are plain and single and require no studying to be understood—sewing (god help me) is my only resource— I have lost half a dozen needles and spoil[e]d the waist of a gown already— oh dear dear—I wish I had been born a little Master—how different my lot had been!— but I have no time for complaints just now—a blockhead of a boy that is going to the village is waiting for my letter— The family must want bread till he returns— I have but a vague idea of your plans and no idea at all of my own or rather of my Mother's— I conjecture we will leave this [place] the beginning of next week— my address in D[umfries]shire is Walter Welsh Esqr Templand by Thornhill— Dshire, write to me there on Wednesday or Thursday that I may know where my next letter may find you— Give my love to your Brother and little Jane— if my Grandfather has any thing like a decent horse I shall try and scamper over to Mainhill some day to get a look of her— my head is quite topsy turvy, at present I can say nothing about the Tales except that I am steadfast to follow your advice in all things wherein I am a free agent[—] the vexation I have endured for the last week or two is doing me a deal of harm— I cannot fix my mind a single moment—my Mother is stuffing me with physic by way of improving my appetite—it is not that that will do me any good— I will write you a long legible letter next time—but I must send this as it is—for I do not know when I may have another opportunity of getting it to the Postoffice—

God bless you! Your affectionate friend / Jane B Welsh