The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC AND JWC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 14 April 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400414-TCJWC-MAC-01; CL 12: 110-111


Chelsea, Tuesday, 14 April, 1840—

My dear Mother,

Late on Saturday night, after I had written to Jean, came this very small Letter1 from our Doctor. There has nothing since come. It is better than nothing at all,—which I bethink me has perhaps been your share. I will send it, at the small charge of one penny! A few minutes still remain to me after finishing my task for the day; I have a pen and a sheet of paper: why should I not send it, with a word or with only half a word of my own?

My Lecture Prospectuses are probably printed, and lying at Fraser's; none of them have come down here yet, or I would enclose you one. I was to omit riding this very day, and go up to Fraser to see about them; but in the morning a certain Mr Marshall (son of the Donor of the Horse) sent a Letter to say he would come and ride with me; so I must put Fraser off till tomorrow. For the last two days, I have taken, as a kind of relief, to splashing down upon paper, at great length, and quite off-hand, as fast as the pen will go, whatsoever thing I might speak in the course of these same Lectures: it will help me at least to speak something when I come to the place! I still mean to speak, however, and in no wise to read; I have found out by trial that I cannot read, that I have not p[l]ayactor enough in me for that. I must give the people what is in me at the time, be it good or bad.

You would probably see the advertisement in last Examiner;2—or rather you will probably, tomorrow. You shall get a Prospectus too by and by. Nay who knows but you may see the Lectures themselves, this time! There is a kind of speculation about having them taken in short-hand, and printed as a volume with corrections. A certain Review-Editor (the new Editor of the Westminster—for Mill has given it up) came to me the other day, with a proposal to have a short-hand reporter of his own, and print the result in his review, and give me—£50. It was £80 in all, he said; for the reporter (if first-rate) would cost about £30! I rejected this proposal totally, without hesitation;—the said new Editor's being a decided Dud was reason enough for that, had there been no other.3 Yet we shall see what comes of it, on some other side. The Reporter will hardly get £30 from me, I think; one would rather try to report it oneself.

Meanwhile, I ride with as much diligence as ever. We have beautiful bright weather; today perfect summer. Jane is better; she is out today, up into the Town, an hour ago, far and wide. The riding surely does me good too; tho' it does not4

At this point came a Tailor with patterns for trowsers, who was followed by the Marshalls male and female5 to ride with him—and the letter is brought to me to finish and me cannot finish it for here is company—never mind I will write a word myself in a day or two

Your affectionate with love to Jane and them all

Jane Carlyle 6