The Collected Letters, Volume 1


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 15 December 1819; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18191215-TC-MAC-01; CL 1:213-214.


Edinr, Duff's lodgings, 35 Bristo-street, 15th Decr 1819.

My dear Mother,

Nothing could give me greater pleasure than to learn that you continue in good health, and are improving even in that particular. I entreat you, for the sake of us all, to be careful of this invaluable privilege. It is the foundation of every earthly blessing. With it and a clear conscience, no human creature need in general be miserable.— You will be satisfied to learn that I am very well. By taking a proper degree of exercise my bodily frame, I find, may be made to do its duty pretty well; and accordingly I make a point to divide the day between study and walking. It is the more necessary, as when I neglect it, the dark side of my affairs never fails to present itself to my solitary imagination, and I am as unfit for study as for flying—upon the whole however, I go courageously along; and to beat the hoof half an hour before breakfast, and an hour before entering the law class at 2 or rather half-[pa]st one, is quite sufficient to keep me in good heart. The law I find to be a most complicated subject; yet I like it pretty well, and feel that I shall like it better as I proceed. Its great charm in my eyes, is that no mean compliances are requisite for prospering in it. I must struggle, and solace myself with the delightful hope that the day will yet come, when I may shew you all what sense I entertain of your affectionate conduct.

The cakes are excellent and most acceptable. I think, you must have left out one sock: at least I can find but three in the box. You need not take all this trouble on you, about these articles; I have plenty of socks. I know not whom to thank for the ham: doubtless it will do me good service— I have not yet fairly arranged the newspaper, not having looked for the carrier so soon— I shall tell you fully about it when he returns. Write to me very copiously, whenever you can find as much time. I trust, My dear Mother, we shall yet agree in all things. But absolute sameness of opinion, upon any point, is not, as I have often said, to be looked for in this low erring world— Excuse my brevity; and Believe me to be,

My dear Mother, / ever your's most affectionately, /

Thomas Carlyle—

My compliments to Margaret: she must write before the milking hour, another time. My father I trust is well tho' you say nothing of him.