The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 17 September 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18410917-TC-MAC-01; CL 13: 254-255


Tynemouth, Northumberland, Friday Evg [17 September 1841]

My dear Mother,

The Post will go away tomorrow morning at eight; so I write a word before going to bed, that it may go with him for your sake and my own. I have been talking, and again talking, all evening, with poor Miss Martineau, and my wits are all scattered to pieces; but my good Mother will take the will for the deed. This morning a Courier with two strokes went off, which I hope will perhaps already have indicated (at least already to Alick) that we are here safe; and indeed as yet there is little more to be indicated.

We got beautifully down to Carlisle soon after one o'clock; the man of the luggage was there waiting; at half past two he was to be off again,—too short a rest for the poor Nag; who however, I hope, got home again without much injury. Jamie was to take him over to Austin the first day he could manage it; and so wind that matter up.— At half past two, their omnibus had landed us in the railway machine, which proved somewhat of a jolty one, being too light-laden as I thought; however, we had the more room, and the greater freedom, and being in the open class of carriages with a beautiful afternoon we did very well; tho' half past six, not half past five as advertised, was the time of our arriving at Newcastle We had dined out of our tin-box, on the bread and fowl, which served us very well, in the case we were in. It was an interesting ride: for a good while, Burnswark stood frequently in view, and we fancied you all as busy about the foot of it,—my good Mother rejoicing more than any in the bright day, for our and all men's sake: but at last Burnswark too vanished behind the Hills, and all that too was gone and away. Ought we not to be glad that we have been permitted to meet once again under this sun? Let us all think of each other with love and grateful affection, and strive to banish the pain,—which, alas, will not altogether banish.

At half past eight thro' two new omnibuses and another ten miles of railway, we had got landed here: an excellent lodging not far off over the way had been secured for us by Miss Martineau's landlady: thither about ten o'clock we were glad enough to retreat. A little drop of brandy-punch sent us to sleep in our braw double-bedded room; and this day's rest, one of the finest sunniest days, has set us all up again, or nearly so. The lodging cannot be too much commended: even taken by the day it is somewhat cheaper (4 shillings a day) than our Newby one taken by the three months; and the accommodation here is complete according to quite another standard than the Slater one. We have a fine sitting room down below; and up above two of the cleanest comfortablest beds anywhere to be met with. It is a pleasant quiet kind of town (more like Moffat than any in your region,—a wide clear street with high weatherbeaten houses, but close upon the cliffs of the sea), the weather is pleasant, and the sea is full of beauty, and very fit for bathing yet. All this has decided us on staying here over Sunday at any rate; I have been in the sea today, a sea as clear as glass; I never had a finer bathe. Jane too got a hot bath of sea-water somewhere: in short here we are, I think, till Monday, about as well as we could hope to be, and likely to be fit enough for the remainder of our journey. We think of stopping for the first night at Leeds; then there is but some dozen hours, all railway, till we are at London, and our wandering for the present over. If we stay longer here than Monday, which is by no means likely, I will write to you again. But if Monday be not wet, I think we shall go. About the middle of the week, Thursday or Friday, you may expect some farther news of us.

Dear Mother, what more can I say? My head is all whirling with that endless talk, talk! Poor Miss Martineau seems to me far worse than when I came up in June; much weaker, and with a false kind of excitement in her manner. The sight of her gives me real sorrow: nor am I sure that our staying here is calculated to do her any good. Accordingly I will see as little of her as I handsomely can, and spend my time in reading, in solitary walking, and a daily plunge in the beautiful salt sea. Jane may take the visiting herself. The weather promises to be good; which I rejoice in for Jamie's sake, and that of all farmers and men. Harvest is not at all over here; perhaps a week ahead of Hoddam or so: the land is all still muddy and wet.—— Jane is already in bed. Adieu dear Mother; I can say no more. God's blessing be with you and them all. remember me in love, and forgive all my faults. Yours affectionately

T. Carlyle

Do not let Jenny forget to send me some word of herself. Study dear Mother to be soft and quiet with her (as I know you will); you yourself have much need of composure.