1824- 1825

The Collected Letters, Volume 3


JBW TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 19 July 1825; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18250719-JBW-TC-01; CL 3:353-355.


Haddington / 19th July [1825]

My dear Love

What a miser you are of your letters, to charge the last to my account after making a show of giving it into the bargain! Eh bien! I have nothing for it, but to submit, in this as in all things else: “my whole will (Mrs Montagu says) must be thrown into fusion and cast according to another mould [fusion underscored twice].” A barbarous process really! I wonder that the bare mention of it did not terrify me into the resolution of remaining single all the days of life—

A few hurried lines however, is all that I can bestow on you at present; being in the middle of confusion, and “troubled about many things”1— Tomorrow, with the blessing of God, we go to Edinr—on Saturday to Dumfriesshire; and not an article of my wardrobe is packed yet. to add to my hurry I have just got a letter from the cidevant Margaret Betson which requires an immediate answer as it concerns the important matter of cambrick handkerchiefs— It cannot be long now until we meet—meet! Oh that it were never more to—quarrel!— I wish however that the weather were a little cooler and my health a little stronger first. I am better greatly better than I was but still “silly” as the people here call it; but this kicking pony and the sight of thee will put me all to rights again I expect.

I am just returned from a visit (you would never guess where) at Phantasy! This is the first fruits of my life: it revived a number of recollections in me which softened my heart towards these Rennies2—so that when I met some of them one day by chance I made steps towards a reconciliation which were met more than half way— We are now on the best possible terms. I am glad of it for there are few kinds of suffering which I would not endure sooner than estrangement from those I love— and it is impossible for me ever to feel altogether indifferent to the friendships which I contracted with the trustful, sanguine enthusiasm of sixteen

My money matters are all arranged and now I am as poor as yourself—do you like me the worse that I am poor? Not you indeed! And for me I would give thousands a year instead of hundreds to buy the conviction of being loved for myself alone— Mr. Donaldson has seen my will too with your name written in it in great letters.3 No matter! why should I be ashamed of shewing an affection which I am not ashamed to feel— But we will talk over all these things when we meet— It will take all your indulgence to excuse this breathless letter— God bless you my darling

I am yours ever and wholely /

Jane Baillie Pen Welsh

I had two sheets from Mrs Montagu the other day trying to prove to me that I knew nothing at all of my own heart (Mercy how romantic she is[.)]4 write presently to Templand.


My brave little Woman had, by deed of law, settled her little estate (Craigenputtock) upon her Mother for life; —rent, some Two hundred Pounds, being clearly indispensable there: Fee-simple of the place she had, at the same time, by Will, bequeathed to me, if I survived her! Beautiful soul: I heard of this Will probably once only, and knew that it existed: but never saw it till June or July, 1866. [Written in 1869.]5