The Collected Letters, Volume 4


JWC AND GW TO THOMAS CARLYLE; 16 April 1827; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18270416-JWCGW-TC-01; CL 4:212-215.


[16 April 1827]

Dear, Dear, Cheap, Cheap! 1 I met the Postman in Stockbridge2 yesterday morning, and something bid me ask if there were any letters. Imagine my agitation when he gave me yours,—four and twenty hours before the appointed time! I was so glad and so frightened! So eager to know the whole contents that I could hardly make out any part. In the little Tobacconist's, where I was fain to seek a quiet place, I did at length however with much heart-beating get thro the precious paper; and find that my Darling still loved me pretty well, and that the Craig o' Putta was still a hope; as also, that if you come not back to poor Goody on Saturday it will not be for want of will. Ah nor yet will it be for want of the most fervent prayers to Heaven that a longing Goody can put up; for I am sick, sick to the heart of this absence, which indeed I can only bear in the faith of its being brief. Oh Dearest I do love you in my very in[n]ermost being,— far better than word can tell, or even kisses; tho' these (when not the experimental sort) are rather eloquent in their way; to me, at least, have often told such things! and they shall tell the same story over again—shall they not, yet a thousand and a thousand times? “I expect but I doubt not—”3

Alas the poor Craig o'Putta! what a way it is in with these goodfornothing sluggards! I need not recommend to you to do all that is possible—nay to “do the impossible” to get them out. Even suppose we did not wish the place for ourselves, it would be miserable to consign it to such hands; you will use all fair means,—then, to recover it from them—that is all honest means,— for, as to the tenderness and delicacy which would have been becoming towards a worthy tenant, it were here out of place. I shall be very anxious until I hear from you again— Would to Heaven the business were settled and in the way we wish! These perplexities and suspenses are not good for bilious people; Indeed they are making me positively ill. How often since you went, have I been reminded of your figure about the hot ashes4 and my head has ached more continuously than at any time these six months. But health and spirits will come back when my dearest Husband comes back with good news; or rather when he comes back whether his news be good or bad. Oh I think I shall never be satisfied with looking at you, and holding you in my arms and covering you with kisses after this—Journey to Fla[e]tz[.]5 Nay it is no joke—to be separated from you even for one week is frightful, as a foretaste of what might be. But I will not think of this—if I can help it— And after all why should I think of life without you? is not my being interweaved with yours so close, so close that it can have no seperate existence? Yes surely we will live together and die together and be together thro all eternity—awful yet delicious thought! But you will be calling this “French sentimentality” I fear—and even “the style of mockery” is better than that.

I have not been altogether idle since we parted tho I threatened I would take to bed. I have finished my Review—The Representation of Female character in the Greek poets also, and the Comparison betwixt C[a]esar and Alexander, with all that I could possibly understand of the Friend.6 Over and above which I have transacted a good deal of shaping and sewing the result of which will be complete, I hope, by the day of your return—and fill you with weender and amazement.—7

Gilbert Burns is gone! Mr Brodie told us of his death last week—except besides him, Mrs Binnie, the Bruce people and Mr Aitken we have had no visitors—and I have paid no visits[.] Last night I was engaged to Mrs Bruce; but I wrapt a piece of flannel about my throat and made my Mother carry an apology of cold. But I may cut short these insipidities to leave room for a line to Mr Adamson— My kindest love to all from the weeest up to Lord Moon.8 God keep you my dear good Husband— Write—and love me— Your own Goody

Jane W. Carlyle

[Mrs. Welsh to Mr. Adamson:] Mrs Welsh presents her compliments to Mr Adamson9 and begs to introduce Mr Carlyle her Son-in-law to whom she requests Mr Adamson will have the goodness to give any Paper he may have in his possession respecting Craigenputtock and likewise any information on the subject he may require—

Edinr. 21 Comely Bank—16th of April 1827

[Mrs. Welsh to TC:] My dear Sir, The account you give of Craigenputtock makes my heart full sore—that a place that should have been redeemed at such a price should again fall into nothingness by the worthlessness of its Tenant. To think of his remaining must not be—he deserves no mercy—far less delicacy from us— Therefore I trust you will put forth your whole strength to save poor puttock before it is too late— for my own part I would sooner live on potato[e]s and point from Whitsuntide till Martinmas than that such an unprincipled dirty wretch should find footing upon it. From all accounts I dont see how they can expect to retain it but should they become obstreperous, you must just act according to your better judgement and make them what offer of money or law you think they best deserve—but out of Craigenputtock they must be got. The Missive I have from them is Im sorry to say at Templand nor can I get it unless I have a large box sent in wherein it is—so until I hear from you again I will let it stand—it mearly specifies the length of the lease and the Rent—and signed by John and William Blacklock—so that you have two strings to tug at for the payment of the Rent. without which from the appearance of poverty and sloth upon the Farm there would have been small hopes of procuring it from the latter but I would fain hope that for their own credit they will pay up the Rent & rather than be driven to seek what they might not easily find (proper security for time coming[)] together with a few stiff necked clauses they will be glad at the first opportunity to take up their bed and walk— but at all events do your utmost to rout them out of their lair & drive them into the sea if you can was it only for their merciless conduct to the young trees—oh the Villains my heartsblood boils to think of it— After having seen them on Wednesday do write a few lines to say how matters are likely to go— Jane will speak for herself and me also wherein I am deficient but as your will & hers is my first wish I would wish to be regulated & not to regulate in what concerneth your better interests

Yours Ever Beli[eve m]e Your affectionate Mother

G Welsh


This the Letter (double Letter, above referred to, p—), whh dates to me my first visit to Annandale on the Craigk Busss,—and in particr prefigures the somewhat stormy Bargaing with those two ‘Blacklocks,’ whh soon followed.