1824- 1825

The Collected Letters, Volume 3


JBW TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 6 October 1825; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18251006-JBW-TC-01; CL 3:384-385.


Templand Thursday [6 October 1825]

My Dearest.

I would have answered your letter yesterday as you desired; only my Mother was in such perplexity about this unhappy farm of hers, that she required a day to consider what was best to be done. The result of her delibera[tions] you will find on the foregoing page,1 on which I forbear to make any commentary. You may believe I was never more vexed and angry in [my] life; however it is some consolation that I have all the disappointment to myself, for, to your Father and the rest it will hardly be a matter of regret that they are not to wear out nineteen [years] of their existence on the dreariest spot of the whole world.

And you have been sick too! Oh me! and I not near to nurse and comfort you! But I am thankful it was no worse. I did not know what to think. All Monday I sat at the window looking out for you; and when night came, I could not sleep for my foolish forebodings[.] On Tuesday the same observations were repeated with “hope defer[r]ed which maketh the heart sick.”2 so that by the time your letter arrived I was half distracted with fear of I knew not what disaster[.] Oh Dearest! anxiety is fearfully multiplied to me since my existence was connected with yours; yet I do not wish it otherwise; for it is better to suffer with you, than to be happy alone— Are you well again and will you still come? You need not want for an errand; there is Mrs Johnston's packet, too precious to be intrusted to Notman, and “stumme Liebe3 if that is not sufficient. Come Darling! my Grandfather and Aunt will give you no freezing reception. I have prepared them to like you; and they will like you, provided you do not play the Etourdi4 as usual, and counteract my pains. My Aunt bids me repeat to you in her name, a message from Margaret Betson,5 in consequence of your regards which I sent her in my last letter— “that every one who loves her adored Jane Welsh is sure of having a friend in her.” My Mother too will be glad to see you—that is if she happens to be in [the] same humour she is as now, which I am sorry I cannot promise with any degree of certainty! But there is another person here, whose heart's-welcome will not fail you, and for her single sake you would come, tho' the chances of enjoyment to yourself were even fewer than they are. You will be here then—when? On Monday? We will look for you at dinner unless you write before that time.

Adieu, then till Monday at three oclock

Ever Ever Yours /

Jane Welsh

My kindest love to your Mother and all the rest. Mag's hand frills are finished and a purse for Alick besides. I hope you admire my industry.

If you cannot be [here] before three on Monday do not fail to write by the first post. I have had quite enough of “bootless” expectation.6