January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


JWC TO JEAN CARLYLE; 21 June 1831; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18310621-JWC-JCA-01; CL 5:292-293.


[Craigenputtoch, 21? June 1831]

My dear Jane

I have kept the promise I made you, it must be confessed but indifferently—yet more I hope thro' destiny than my own demerit—

That I do not altogether give myself up to illfaith—you have a proof in the fact that I am here writing with half open eyes at four in the morning—Poor Harry has been in the jaws of death—as your Mother would tell me I made him too much an idol—his sides are all red flesh now however so that I am not likely to be very proud of him in a hurry again—I send my cow[']s calve to Jenny1 and her heirs for ever—and hope she will train her up to emulate her Mother's virtues—who is one of the best cows in the creation— There are also some other odds and ends— A tea sugar and milk establishment for you—and the other things are for Mary—pity they were not more worth— Give my love to her and all[.] I was meaning to send you by the same opportunity Bublius2 and one of his Turkeys but she is hatching so must wait till she has given me chickens— Carlyle is sound asleep God bless you—can you not come up with them?—

Ever affectionately / Yours

Jane Welsh


[Craigk, end of june 1831](Horse Harry sick) Poor Horse Harry! This was a Horse-epidemic, that hot dry june and weeks onward; proved fatal to one of Alick's horses, and at last to wild gallant Larry too. Harry was next seized: I had perceived the “Veterinary Licentiate” to be an ignorant puppy, who called the windpipe “LarNYX”;—we dismissed him; inquired of the Surgeon at Minyive, How he wd treat a man in inflamatn of the lungs?—“Bleed him, blister on breast, no food but slops”;—and, treating poor Harry ourselves in that way, luckily pulled him thro'. By a perfect hairs breadth, it seemed to be, for three days long. Every night of those 3, SHE was down, in dressing-gown and slippers, stept across with flat-candlestick, alone under the sky;—and one night (probably this ‘of 4 a.m.’[)] the poor creature (in reply to her stalk or two of green rye-grass) just touched her cheek with its lips.