The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 26 April 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410426-TC-JWC-01; CL 13: 116-117


Scotsbrig, 26 April, 1841—

Best Wifekin,

Here is another pretty little epistle1 from thee, inclosed safe in Jack's with various little snips and fragments; altogether interesting to me in this wilderness! She beats us all for a smart cheery word, once put the pen in her hand. It is a real charity, such a pennyworth, in these tempestuous solitary days.

Pray know, and tell Jack whom I do not write to till at soonest tomorrow, That my Mother continues to go on very tolerably, and seems to have nothing but the natural weakness produced by such a disorder left now to struggle with. She keeps her bed today, having taken some slight medicine, but is not otherwise ill: indeed the bed in such wild weather is by no means the worst place for her. I believe, tho' she asserts the contrary, that the crowding of us all about her yesterday, as is the wont on Sundays, has done her mischief; that perhaps my absence in a few days will be as beneficial as my presence.

I have written to your Mother: it was perhaps well, as you say, that we did not flurry her nerves. I did not hold out much prospect of my getting up in person now; but did not cut off hope either;—wrote kindly, and said I should at least write again.

This morning Stewart had a woman messenger down at me, thro' the rain; with the Letter which I inclose. The dinner of course was a devout imagination; as to the House of Glen I acquiesced likewise in his hint;2 and undertook, if the weather brightened a little, to go and look at the house, to ask the man about his furniture, and then to await what he, Stewart, would say,—addressed to Chelsea. We are not to meet now, on this occasion.

As to my health and sleep, it is veritably not a little improved. I am convinced I should grow considerably better than ever,—and perhaps also write better Books!—had I a fair chance under the impartial sky of our general Mother Earth somewhere! “Let me see,” as the blind man said.

The Newcastle Steamers sail, it appears, every Wednesday and Saturday. They are slightly the cheapest conveyance. But if the weather continue as surly, one will be better off the sea, I think. As before, we shall see. It seems as if Saturday first might be a reasonable day for quitting: but hitherto I can fix nothing. I will keep the date “about a week hence” in my eye. The May of London, I suppose, will be already too hot for me! In June I must get out of it somewhither; fly for life and sanity. A sad case;—but Patience, Peace!

Jamie has no certain news yet about the Farm; but we consider it much likeliest that another has got it. Tant pis,—tant mieux [So much the worse—so much the better]?

O my dear, wilt thou be good to me when I return? Art thou getting thy little self made better. Jack reports great things of the “Earthquake”3— Here is Isabella with a too early dinner Adieu, Good be with thee ever!

T. Carlyle