January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO JEAN CARLYLE; 15 September 1831; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18310915-TC-JCA-01; CL 5:433-435.


London, 15th Sept, 1831—

My Dear Jane,

I can do nothing more but send you my salutations in writing, instead of sending them by second hand, so hurried am I at this moment: so much however I will do, knowing that it will give you pleasure. Be sure always, my dear Sister, that I love you, and take a true brotherly concern in whatever you do or suffer: I have long marked in you many qualities that I trust will yet ripen into attainments of great comfort to us all.

I have no new advices to give you: the old one is still enough, to love Truth and walk in it; this includes all other things. If there were any special point I should again insist on, it would be to stand between our dear Mother and Evil, to shield her from pain by whatever assiduity patience, self-sacrifice you can. O be kind to her: we shall never, never look upon her like again. Bear with her: even when she seems to you unreasonable, bear with her; protect her against herself.

But I will not touch on these matters here: I mean to bargain with you that I shall have a Letter from Scotsbrig at least once a month thro' winter; and it will be you, I think, who must chiefly write it. I will make Jane lay this charge on you, and bargain with you, and take your word, which I know you will not break. In my next Letter to her there will be more of it.

Poor Mrs Edward Irving1 (she that lived so long at Supplebank) has just heard word that her eldest son (who went lately to the West Indies) is dead on his way home. She is here with her husband, who I fear is but a trivial fellow; and the Mother suffers more perhaps than her share.

I saw Wull Bogs2 the other day in a crowded street here: he seemed to be dressed in second hand clothes, and was looking [torn] of the shabbiest: I understand he is making shoe-blacking again; and is “an intire skite.”3 I did not speak to him; he seemed not to notice me.

In the next Examiner you will see an Inquest about a Mr Calcraft Member of Parlt, who has put an end to his life, in a shocking way: the reason except that he was hypochondriacal, is not given; and only conjectures are afloat. It is a wild world; one cannot walk in it, without the pole-star ever in his eye.4

I think I can partly promise my Mother a Letter inclosed with my Wife Jane's to Ecclefechan next Wednesday. I will try my best.— Jack also shall write, if bidding will make him. But he is still very lazy.— Meanwhile, dear Sister, take my best love; and give the like to every one of the Scotsbrig Household. Be good to your old Missus and Sister,5 and forward her (as I know well you will) on her journey home, which is here for the present. Spring will bring us back.— There is the post-hour! Adieu dear Jean! Ever Your's

T. Carlyle