The Collected Letters, Volume 10


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 21 June 1838; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18380621-TC-MAC-01; CL 10: 109-110


Chelsea, 21st June 1838

My dear Mother,

It is only a day or two since I wrote to you; but here is a Letter from Jack, which I must send to you, and a line or half a line along with it. Yesterday it arrived; today, being in the Letter-writing way, I will send it off.

Jack has got up to the North of Italy, to a beautiful Country of lakes and hills at the foot of the Alps; a bit nearer us; but whether any likelier to get actually to us this year, we cannot yet say. He still speaks of its being probable he may come home in September; but it were not wise in us to count on that: we must just leave it all to the Upper Power; and in the meanwhile be thankful that our good Doctor is well where he stays, and tho' far from us can pass his summer in tolerable comfort.1 He had not got my Letter when he wrote; but must before now, if no mischance befel; for I wrote it without any delay. This is enough for Italy.

And now, dear Mother, what of Scotsbrig and Annandale? I begin to be very desirous of some precise information as to matters there. How has your health stood it; how do you find yourself in the old upstairs rooms, so quiet after all the noise and reek you had? I fancy Alick's being at Ecclefechan will be a resource for you; in the good weather it will be easy and pleasant to take a walk over thither. Your weather, I doubt, has been blustery, wet and inclement hitherto; as indeed it has till within these two weeks been here: nay still it is very rainy, but that in our dry dusty world of London is a quality rather than otherwise. It washes our atmosphere, our tree leaves and streets: summer green is beautiful everywhere. Oh, I wish many times I were mounted on that saddle there (close by you) and a good horse under it,—to fly thro' the wind in still Annandale again! Patience; we must have patience, and see what can be done.

The printing of Teufelsdröckh proceeds apace; and cannot last beyond three weeks, I should say. It will be a pretty enough Book. I do not mean to go on with the others at present: I hear for certain that they are done or nearly done in America: by way of saving myself trouble for which there is no sure or evident money-return, I will wait till I hear from America before printing farther. I wrote to Emerson, the other day, about it; about sending me some of their copies over to sell them here for my own behoof. We will hear first, and then determine.

My Lectures, now that the whole matter is summed up have realised in gross about £300; from which about £40 of expences (higher a little than they should be) were to be deducted; so that our net product is just about £260: better than I expected; better very decidedly than I expected once. All the rest of it is satisfactory as anything could be: on the whole one ought to be quietly thankful for it. I clap in here a £5 note, of which you are to distribute the individual sovereigns among my sisters and yourself: Mary, Jean, Sandy's Jenny, Jamie's Isabella, Mother's self,—a sovereign each to all the woman-kind, which they may buy bonnets with or brats [clothes] and pattens, and call “the Lecture.” Add