October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


JWC TO ELIZA STODART; 22 October 1832; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18321022-JWC-EA-01; CL 6:252-253.


Craigenputtoch Monday [ca. 22 October 1832]

My dearest Eliza

I was in the hurry of packing and preparing for a little journey, when Carlyle told me he was sending a parcel to Sam,1 if I had any thing to add— To be sure I had several things but found myself obliged to wait a more convenient season. I have been on my travels ever since first to Templand, thence to Scotsbrig, back to Templand again, and home the night before last, and now before setting out again I take advantage of this short breathing space to acknowledge your favour and despatch a windfall of pheasants that is come in my way. one [sic] of which have the kindness to give to Sam with my love. I must be back to Templand this week; for my Mother is ailing, and tho Isabella Macturk is there I am not at all easy in leaving her— Her ailment is singular enough— She has no sickness, no pain, looks as well as if ever she did in her life, takes her food as usual; only from time to time perhaps twice or thrice in the course of the day (always when she sits up for any length of time) a “feeling of sinking” comes over her, which, tho it lasts but a few minutes, and never goes the length of complete fainting away, terrifys her to such a degree, that she lies almost constantly in bed. Dr Russel[l] calls it nervous debility and seems to have no serious apprehension about it. I have a theory of my own about it, and tho not positively alarmed am anxious and uneasy. Indeed I am harassed on all sides at present, for when there I fancy every thing going to wreck at home. the maid to whom I am obliged to com[m]it my husband and house, cow, hens, &c &c being a creature without sense or principle whose depredations are only to be checked by help of blacksmith's fingers.

I liked your description of Miss Frasers house, and am inclined to think it would suit, very well.2 The quantity of accom[m]odation is suitable—the rent is suitable—and so far as I recollect the situation is suitable— I should prefer an upper flat provided there was nothing above— But your plan is good to ascertain what is to be had, and then for me to see and fix with my own eyes.—no—see with my own eyes and fix with my own volition—(the schoolmaster of Southwick asked an irish man if he could read— “Yes your honour some little; but not so well as you thank God”) The only thing is my weak nervous state of body which makes me boggle at every thing like active exertion—indeed I never go a journey from home without bei[n]g worse for days after—but I may be stronger when the time comes—about three weeks or so after Marti[n]mas we calculate.

And now having said the needful, I shall not strive with this worst of pens any longer having to write to my Mother, and make a cheese before bed time. There will be time in the long winter nights to turn the whole interior inside out. My kindest love to your Uncle— God bless you Dear

Your affectionate

Jane W Carlyle