The Collected Letters, Volume 12


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 2 October 1840; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18401002-TC-MAC-01; CL 12: 270-271


Chelsea, Friday 3d [2] October, 1840.

My dear Mother,

Lest Jack in his rapid wanderings may have omitted to send you sufficient notice of himself, I despatch you that hasty Letter1 of his, which has just arrived here. He is enjoying an admirable view of the country at least! I am very glad he means to come down hitherward to the Isle of Wight: it is but some three hours off us by railway; and a beautiful climate for winter.

All this morning we have been packing up a box of duds for you; Jane and I had just finished it when Jack's Letter arrived. It goes off tomorrow by Pickford and the Canal; Alick Welsh will take charge of it at Liverpool; after that it is addressed to you, “care of of [sic] Ben Nelson”; if anybody be down at Annan, Ben may be directed how to send it up. I should think it might get to Scotsbrig in about ten days hence. Some of the things are marked as to the ownership; the old clothes ought to be made up straightway into little breeks and waistcoats: do you divide them,—and set the tailor to work!

We have not had a grain of meal these many weeks, and are wearying sore to taste meal again. A barrel the size of last years would be welcome, the sooner the better. Jane says thirty pounds of butter; if we get it moderately soon, we can consume all that in first-rate order.

Dear Mother, I had your good little Letter,2 and give you many thanks for it. There are some woollen things in the Box for you; pray wear them for our sake: we have determined to have you warm if possible! Jenny is far mistaken in thinking I forget her; she knows little how I am situated here. I thought I had answered her last Letter? Tell her to be patient with me: I could not “forget” her for her kindness to you, if for nothing else.——— Poor Jamie, I often think, is getting but indifferent weather for his harvest: bid him fight away, with the brave good-humour, the cheerful patience we admired so much last year! Austin I suppose will have done3

I go along reading, reading. My Book is a very long way off yet, if it come at all. It is to be upon the Puritans,—John Knox's people in this end of the Island, especially Oliver Cromwell: but who knows whether we shall ever get rightly into the heart of that, or have any Book to write about it? We shall see by and by— Did you notice the little review of Burns in the last Examiner? It was by me. I send my brotherly love to Alick, and to all the rest. I hope to write again before the Box arrive. Good be with you, dear good Mother! Your affectionate

T. Carlyle