The Collected Letters, Volume 4


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE; 31 March 1828; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18280331-TC-JWC-01; CL 4:350-351.


Scotsbrig, Monday [31 March 1828]—

Dearest Wifie,

I am to see thee again before leaving the Country. Alick and my Mother left this place on Saturday (before your letter1 came) for Craigenputtock, where I am to meet them, our business being not yet finally arranged. If I prosper, I will see you at Templand on Wednesday; and, if I cannot persuade you home with me, set off next morning myself. I would not withdraw my good Jeanie from so sacred a duty, while she feels that she has such a duty to discharge; but I feel that the Edinburgh home will be no home without her.

My decided impression with regard to our poor Auntie is that Dr Maxwell2 should be sent for again. Who knows but an Inflammation of the Liver, a disease curable by proper treatment, may be the cause of all these frightful symptoms? O for a Good Physician, were there such a one to be found! I have no grain of faith in Dr Russel[l]'s theory; nor indeed in his seeing half an inch beyond the surface into the malady. Speak to your uncle of Dr Maxwell: while there is Life there is Hope.— On Wednesday Night, or Afternoon!— I carry this with me to Dumfries, and there put it into the Postoffice.— I leave Scotsbrig, as I do all places, with sadness and regret; and can expect but a sombre day in my solitary ride, thro' a solitary region, all sicklied over with the pale cast of memory,3 and reflecting from every bush and crag some image of a time that will not come again, and looks far holier than it was while with me.

However when you read this, I am sitting by a peat fire among the moors, amid known kind faces that Providence has still mercifully spared me. It seems strange that one should ever smile in this so hollow and fearfully encompassed scene!— God bless you all! I will see my wifie soon; and am and ever must be

Her affectionate Husband, /

Thomas Carlyle.