October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


JWC TO JEAN CARLYLE; 15 May 1832; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18320515-JWC-JCA-01; CL 6:152-153.


[15 May 1832]

My dear Jane

I hasten by the earliest opportunity to rectify a blunder, which has just been intimated to me—so palpable a one, that I almost wonder it should not have rectified itself. It seems the little broach I brought you from London with my hair in it—was deposited in the wrong place—one more instance of the truth of the old saying that one always does one's own errand best. Surely Jenny's1 usually gleg intellect must have been under a remarkable hallucination on that occasion or as my Grandfather would say without seeking further light—“the Girl must be in love.” It was such an altogether unfeasable [sic] thing that in distributing these little tokens of my remembra[n]ce I should have alone passed over the one who might naturally have expected to be remembered the very first.2

I inquired when I gave Jenny hers where is Jane—down stairs making the porridge was the answer— I held the two remaining boxes in my hand—“the boxes[”] I said [“]are proportioned to your different sizes but the contents are all the same—Mary is gone to bed. I will keep hers till tomorrow and [you] take this down to Jane[.”] How after all this the small Jenniken could fancy Jemmie the individual indicated I cannot imagine— My motive in employing her as my messenger instead of giving the thing ‘with my own hand3 was the best natured possible[;] I wished to spare you the embarrassment of making a speech—an obligation which has often lain so heavy on myself that I would rather have wanted the gift than have had to go thro' with the thanks. And now you have the whole burble [tangle]4 explained as indeed your own mind must have already explained it—for you could never have believed me so utterly unkind as I was made to appear.

Tell Jammie [sic] he must make instant restitution and to console him for the loss of my hair he shall have a whole handful set in some shape or other the next time I am in the neighbourhood of Jewelers—

Carlyle arrived last night just when I had given him up between eleven and twelve—all safe inside and out. He is rather bilious today—but is standing out against the Devil as well as he can—for me I have been fighting with the same person[age] in the shape of headach[e] for many days— But we shall have leisure now to rest—our painters are gone and the house all clean as a new pin and in a week or two we shall have a servant— In the mean time I must “tear away and get a-by”5 and bake scones to quell William Corson6 who is come to tea and the bread not out of the oven!

God bless you all—we look7 with pleasure to seeing your Mother at the appointed time— Love to the rest

Affectionately Yours /

Jane W Carlyle

You will get a Newspaper at the post office