April 1849-December 1849

The Collected Letters, Volume 24


JWC TO JOSEPH NEUBERG; 28 July 1849; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18490728-JWC-JN-01; CL 24: 151-152


Care of the Revd / Walter Welsh Auchtertool Kircaldy / Saturday [28 July 1849]

Dear Mr Neuberg—

I should have written you a long letter today—on “the voluntary principle”—had there not arrived, along with your most provoking note from Rawdon, some letters of a business sort absolutely requiring answers— And the post it seems leaves here at three oclock and we breakfasted this morning at—eleven! Alas!—so the long letter must lie over till another day—and meanwhile here are two lines—just to tell you that I am safe at my Cousin's and dreadfully in need of being written to!—

Why on earth did not you have business in Bradford a few days sooner? But no matter! John Carlyle writes to me this morning of an “economical question” which holds out compensation in no distant future. Because, you see, as to the question of “permanency”; there is no doubt of it!— My instinctive sympathies never yet deceived me—only my factitious—got up sympathies—so you will have that “possession,” (such as it is) as long as you can find room for it—

I left Rawdon on Tuesday morning—Forster accompanying me to Morpeth, where we staid all night and till two next day—for I did not wish to reach Haddington till the evening—when few people would be going about—I might have spared the precaution, being as I afterwards found almost wholly irrecognisable!— Forster having seen me settled in the train, returned to Rawdon and is now off to Mr C in Ireland, and I was whirled on to my native town where I staid from six in the evening till eleven next morning—feeling as like a ghost as a living woman could well feel—Changed—and all around me, changed still more—alone—unknown—undreamt of! The poor little town is ruined—they say by the railway—and the poor little woman?—if she ain't ruined too—it is “more by good luck than good guiding” (as our proverb runs)— However, there I was—still alive—while so many I began life with lay dead at my feet! there I was, still capable of emotion, it seemed,—for I cried myself sick and sore, and ended by springing into the arms of an old—manservant of my Fathers and kissing him before all the waiters at the Inn!1 but I must make an end— write to me—love to Rosette—kind regards to the Traveller

affectionately yours

Jane Carlyle 2

I borrowed Lelia3 from Mr Forster for you—and began to read in it myself—and began to doubt whether I should send it to you!—and brought it away with me hither! till I should have made up my mind on the propriety-question— And it is probable, I think, that the first vol will go off to you on Monday—

I would rather however you had read the copy I copiously marked and annotated in London—