The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 23 January 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400123-TC-MAC-01; CL 12: 20-22


Chelsea, Thursday [23 January 1840].

My dear Mother,

It is perhaps worth while to write you one line today, to say that nothing has yet been decided about Jack and his Irish situation.1 He expected to have met his man this day, and finally settled that he was to go for a month and try the business; £50 for this month, if he turned out not to like it: but the man has not come forward, that is to say, has not sent any Letter, at the time expected; and so the matter still hangs. Or perhaps it is only our Chelsea Post which, with its delays, he has miscalculated? One way or other the thing must decide itself now in a day or two. The Patient, we already learn, is quite willing for the arrangement. I think it likeliest that Jack will go, for a month at any rate. It is a capital salary £500 a-year with your bed and board; if salary is one's object. Jack does not seem to care very much about it otherwise. We shall see soon now what becomes of it.

Mary sent us a Letter,2 it was to the Dr., the other day. She complains sore of the reek [smoke]; of the great loss they have had by buying of the crop. It is very grievous; but, as I say, what can one help it? There was no other way of getting into the Farm, but simply that way. It comes only once. “At every town-end there is a dub [puddle]; and at this town-end a loch”!3 I have written to Mary a word of encouragement to that effect. She tells me that Jamie of Scotsbrig was over, for the first time, very lately. I wish he would write to me, according to my invitation, what he saw there.

The two Printers are fairly begun upon me; they will keep me going for a couple of months at any rate. I send you a bit of a Proofsheet, that you may discern what work it is. They determine to make a finer book of five volumes than the American of four was. We shall see whether or not.

Considerable reviewing of Chartism still goes on; but very daft reviewing.4 They approve generally (such of them as I see, but that is not one in the three), but regret very much that I am—a Tory! Stranger Tory, in my opinion, has not been fallen in with in these latter generations.

I have some new applications for Lecturing in the district of London they call “the City,” that is, the quarter where the Merchants and business people live. I suppose I shall be obliged to try it some day or other.— A poor Paisley Weaver wrote to me last week a very curious Letter,5 of thanks for my writings, which had been a great comfort to him! I sent the epistle away to Mr Erskine6 who is in Scotland at present, or I would have spent a penny in enclosing it to you.

We have wild wind these three days. Cower close by the fire, dear Mother, till the weather brighten. We are in our usual health here, and send you all our blessing. Good be ever with you, dear Mother!— Your affectionate

T. Carlyle