1824- 1825

The Collected Letters, Volume 3


JBW TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 22 February 1824; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18240222-JBW-TC-01; CL 3:36.


22 George Square Sunday [22 Feburary 1824]

My dearest Friend

You predicted sensibly enough that my conscience would punish me, for behaving to you in such a very nonsensical manner— You had no sooner taken yourself off, pulling the door to, with such a vengeance behind you; than I was ready to hang myself for having occasioned you pain, and wasted such a fine opportunity for conversing with one another freely, as may not occur to us again for God knows how long— I do not know how it was— I believe the Devil tempted me to be absurd and ill humoured at the outset; and your imperturbable patience provoked me to continue so until the end— And now that I am come to myself I appear far more despicable in my own sight than I can possibly do in yours. unkind to you who are always so kind to me, so zealous to serve me, so solicitous for my welfare! Can you forgive me? indeed, indeed I do love you and respect you (for all my nonsense) as well I may— Say that you forgive me that you love me not a whit the less for my yesterday's tirevee;1 and I will give you a whole dozen of voluntary kisses at the earliest opportunity. Think of this—I assure you I never offered such liberal terms of reconciliation to mortal man before—

And now when am I to see you and hear your mind on the matter? My Mother has made an appointment for me tomorrow at half after eleven; so that supposing you were to come at the usual time I could not remain with you above a few minutes— Next day we return to Haddington; but I shall pack my duds the night before and endeavour to be at leisure from eleven till twelve if you will call then—idiot that I was, to kick to the devil the two good hours that fortune offered me to talk with you! I do not think you can forgive me in your heart— Can you? You will call on Tuesday however,

Yours most penitentially /

Jane B Welsh