January-October 1859

The Collected Letters, Volume 35


JWC TO MARY RUSSELL ; 26 June 1859; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18590626-JWC-MR-01; CL 35: 125-126


Sunny Bank—Haddington Sunday [26 June 1859]

My dearest Mary. You are not to fancy me indifferent to your kindness, writing so often when ill yourself. Such sympathy is not thrown away on me; tho’ my long silence doesn't look like it. The fact is, I put off writing from day to day, that I might be able to tell you a conclusion was arrived at about our leaving home—to tell you the where and the when of our going. And tho’ I have seen Mr C in many crisises of doubting and vacillation I never saw him at such a pitch of it as on this last occasion!— The thing written and done one day was rewritten and undone the next; till I began to despair of our ever making more progress than Lots wife!1 At last in a blessed moment of desperation—that lodging, which I think I told you of, in a farm house at Aberdour (Fife) was decided on—and immediately we must carry out the decision— I was in the midst of packing and preparing for the deficits of a lodging and for the possibilities of thieves at home when your last dear letter reached me—and I tried sincerely to find a leisure half hour to write to you before starting—but what with the dreadful quantity to be done and the next to no strength to do it with— I had to rest in the intention. Last Wednesday morning I saw my husband, and maid, and horse, and dog, fairly off at eight in the morning to sail to their destination. Myself set out at eight in the evening to travel all night!—with a slight hope of reaching Sunny Bank next morning—alive!

It was my Doctors2 opinion as well as my own, that doing the whole journey at one fell rush, in the dark, would be less hurtful to me than attempting to sleep at Inns on the road and getting myself agitated by changes. I am sure it was, and that the best was made of a bad job that could be made! I arrived here on Thursday3 morning aching all over with fatigue, as I never ached before in all my life! but my mind quite calm—and that is the chief thing I have to attend to— Today is Sunday and I have done nothing since I arrived but rest!— My dear old ladies4 do every thing on earth that is possible, to strengthen and sooth me—and I am beginning to contemplate the remainder of the journey with some assurance of being able to accomplish it—On Tuesday I proceed to Fife if all go well. My family are already safely established in the farm house and write to me satisfactory accounts of it.

You shall hear about it from myself ere long I had a letter from Mrs Pringle inviting us in a self-devoted way to come and recruit at Lann Hall. Just as if I had not positively told her we were going to some Seaside! No thank you, I don't want to be used up for Mrs Pringles purposes of vain glorious beneficence any further5— If I can get a glimpse of You and the Doctor I will have it— But for Lann Hall, it dont suit me.

Goodby darling—I can't get staying up stairs long a time— They send to ask if I am ill!

Your ever affectionate

Jane Carlyle

Do tell me soon if you are better poor Dear