The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 19 June 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18400619-TC-MAC-01; CL 12: 169-170


Chelsea, 19 June, 1840

My dear Mother,

I fear you think me [an un]natural bairn, neither to come to you [when you] ask me; nor even to write, now when le[tters are so] cheap. Alas, I forget you no day of my life I am very busy; writing down my Lectures; bu[st]ling hither and thither; I can only send silent thoughts to you for most part. I have got the first Lecture fairly down; I am fairly into the second: I will put it down too, come of it what may. The thing must, in some shape, be published farther. Occasionally I have fits of bilious depression: but on the whole I almost think my general health is decidedly improving. Sometimes I feel as if I might yet be healthy again! Nay, after all, what would I do with health, if not write true good words and books with it,—as I am endeavouring to write them [even] with the health I have? One should not [compl]ain; I should not.

[Heat] has never much troubled me yet: [the new] outer blinds keep out the sun well, [and r]ender this room of mine up-stairs among [my] books always habitable enough. Indeed we have very frequent showers,—not so good for the hayharvest, which is in full progress everywhere: but making truly delightful weather. My horse does not do me all the good I had hoped; but it does do me good; I mean to keep it, and try it farther. If at any time the weather should grow to burn me out, I could mount the mare, and ride off towards you, without consulting anybody! It will disappoint me much if I do not see you some way this season too.

I keep out of the way of all people as much as possible. Whoever wants to see me has to co[me] hither; I seldom want to see anybod[y; go] out nowhither, except on great occas[ions. The] other morning I went to break[fast with] an ancient notability here; one [R]og[ers,] a very fine old man. We had Lords [and] fine ladies: the Queen of the Eglinton T[in Tour]nament, she they called “the Queen of Beauty[”] was there,—really as beautiful a creature as I ever saw; worthy of something better than a Tin Tournament! I returned sick for the day; as indeed I expected to be. This afternoon, indeed directly this minute (had I once ended), I am to attend a committee-meeting of London Library people; I suppose I shall have to make a kind of speech on Wednesday: this too I could not help. But my work is writing these Lectures; I feel that all else is idle; that I have no other work.— Jane flourishes in the warm weather; desires no better.

Jack you perhaps know already is in Scot[land w]ith his patient; on a bathing expedition to Ob[an in Argyll]shire! He wrote to me twice from [Glasgow. I sent] you his last letter. All goes [well e]nough with him, as it seems. He con[tri]ves always to have travelling. A great Traveller; from Pepperfield onwards!

I must write to Jamie soon. I owe Alick a Letter. They must have patience with me Ali[ck] will regret sore to hear that my poor tobacco is all spoiling, do what I will! I think I must send it all back to be sold at half price;—and also not trouble my kind brothers any more with my tobacco botheration!

Adieu dear Mother: blessings to one and all.

Your ever affectionate /

T. Carlyle