The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 5 March 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400305-TC-MAC-01; CL 12: 70


Chelsea, Thursday, 5 March, 1840—

My dear Mother,

Here is the last Note I had from John, which has lain two or three days in my pocket; who knows but it may be worth a penny to you. At all events, it will be worth a penny to hear again in words that we are well this week too. Jack is fixed till the 20th, it appears; after that, again uncertain. He seems superstitiously anxious (I believe it is the Medical rule) that there be nothing said or known about the state of his Patient: you will therefore not speak, out of your own house.1

The weather for two weeks here has been of the grimmest I ever saw anywhere. Today is sunny; wind still at east, but less of it. How does Jamie like it for ploughing? I believe the people are very much distressed in this end of the Island too;—none or very few to heed them! Tell Jamie, I expect his Letter always. Tell Alick, my tobacco will still last about ten days; certainly not longer.

I am getting into serious thought about my Lectures! Small way made yet; but I think it will do, by and by, too.— I enclose you a Note of Mr Erskine's about a poor Paisley Weaver that astonished me with a letter of “thanks for my writings.” I sent the Letter to Erskine, requesting that he if he saw good would look after the poor man, and inquire into him a little. I have got no farther word yet. I was greatly struck with the poor Weaver's Letter: it was ill-spelt, sealed with a great splatch [splash] you would almost have said of “weaver's dressing”;2 one of the most helpless-looking of Letters; but full of piety and earnestness.— My Proofsheets get on briskly. Another three weeks, I calculate will see me almost thro'. Fraser and I have had no talk yet about settling farther than you heard. The Library Project seems to catch hold: it might be a great benefit and blessing to many here, long after I am gone hence.

I have no room to add a word,—except of wishes and prayers for my dear Mother, one of my priceless possessions still left me on the Earth. May God keep you and bless you always.— Your affectionate,

T. Carlyle