The Collected Letters, Volume 4


TC TO JANE BAILLIE WELSH; 9 October 1826; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18261009-TC-JBW-01; CL 4:150-151.


Scotsbrig, Monday Night [9 October 1826]—

“The last Speech and marrying words of that unfortunate young woman Jane Baillie Welsh,”1 I received on Friday morning: and truly a most delightful and swan-like melody was in them; a tenderness and warm devoted trust, worthy of such a maiden bidding farewell to the (unmarried) Earth, of which she was the fairest ornament. Dear little child! How is it that I have deserved thee; deserved a purer and nobler heart than falls to the lot of millions? I swear I will love thee with my whole heart, and think my life well spent if it can make thine happy.

In fine these preliminaries are in the way towards adjustment. After some vain gallopping and consultation, I have at length got that Certificate which the Closeburn Session in their sapience deem necessary; I have ordered the Proclaiming of Banns in this parish of Middlebie, and written out a note giving order for it in your parish of Closeburn. Pity, by the way, that there is no man in the Closeburn Church possessed of any little fraction of vulgar earthly logic! It might have saved me a ride to Hoddam Manse this morning (the good Yorkstoun my native parson was away), and a most absurd application to the “glass minister” my neighbour. One would think that after fair crying three times thro' the organs of Archibald Blacklock, this certificate of celibacy would be like gilding refined gold, or adding a perfume to the violet:2 for would not my existing wife, in case I had one, forthwith, at the first hum from Archibald's windpipe, start up in her place, and state aloud that she had “objections”?— But I will not quarrel with these reverend men; laissez les faire, they will buckle us fast enough at length, and for the How I care not.

Your own day, Tuesday,3 as was fitting, I have made mine. Jack and I will surely call on Monday evening at Templand, most likely after tea; but I think it will be more commodious for all parties that we sleep at the Inn. You will not see me on Monday night? I bet two to one you will! At all events I hope you will on Tuesday; so as Jack says, “it is much the same.”

All hands are sorting, packing, rummaging and rioting here. To Jane I read her part of your letter: she will accompany us in our Edinr sojourn with all the pleasure in the world. Jack will bring her out, when we want her: she may try the household for a while; if it suit she will have cause to love her sister for her life long.

Your Mother will take down this note to the Minister, and appoint the hour? I think, it should be an early one, for we have far to go. Perhaps also she might do something towards engaging post-horses at the Inn; but I suppose there is little fear of failure in that point.

Do you know aught of wedding-gloves? I must leave all that to you; for except a vague tradition of some such thing I am profoundly ignorant concerning the whole matter. Or will you give any? Ach du guter Gott [Oh, good Lord]! Would we were off and away, three months before all these observances of the Ceremonial Law!

Yet fear not, Darling; for it must and will be all accomplished, and I admitted to thy bosom and thy heart, and we two made one life in the sight of God and Man! O my own Jane! I could say much; and what were words to the sea of thoughts that rolls thro' my heart, when I feel that thou art mine, that I am thine, that henceforth we live not for ourselves but for each other! Let us pray to God that our holy purposes be not frustrated; let us trust in Him and in each other, and fear no evil that can befall us. My last blessing as a Lover is with you, this is my last letter to Jane Welsh: my first blessing as a Husband, my first kiss to Jane Carlyle is at hand! O my Darling! I will always love thee.

Good night, then, for the last time we have to part! In a week I see you. In a week you are my own! Adieu Meine Eigene [my very own]!

In haste, I am forever yours, /

T. Carlyle—