The Collected Letters, Volume 26


JWC TO JANET CARLYLE HANNING; 29 April 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510429-JWC-JCHA-01; CL 26: 77


5 Cheyne Row / Tuesday [29 April 1851]—

My dear Jenny

I sent off yesterday, by Railway, to Jane's care, a bundle of things which I hope may be of some use to you in your preparations for departure— They are not much worth as they are; but you have a great talent—at least you had when I knew you—for making silk purses out of sows ears—a very valuable talent in this world—

For the rest; what can I say to you but that I wish you good speed in your great adventure and that it may turn out even better for you than you hope!— Decidedly it is an adventure in which you ought to be let please yourself—to be let follow the guidance of your own heart without remonstrance or criticism of others— It is my fixed opinion that between man and wife no third person can judge—and that all any of us could reasonably require of you, is that you should consider well what you are about to do and that you should do nothing from secondary motives. If it be affection for your husband, and the idea of doing your duty by him that takes you from your family and friends, so far away—then go in Gods name, and may your Husband prove himself worthy of so much constancy. In any case you will have no cause for self reproach— But if it be impatience of your position here that is driving you away—from your kind old Mother and all the rest who love you so well—then God help you my poor Jenny for you are flinging away all the real blessings of your lot for an imagination of independence

I hope however you are quite justified by your feelings towards your Husband in leaving all to follow him— You have always seemed to me to cherish a most loyal affection for your Husband, and I will never believe, however appearances may be against him, that a man can inspire such an affection in the Wife he has lived years beside, and yet be wholly unworthy of it, So farewell dear Jenny and God go with you affectionately yours

Jane Carlyle