The Collected Letters, Volume 13


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 24 October 1841; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18411024-TC-MAC-01; CL 13: 286-287


Chelsea, 24 Octr, 1841—

My dear Mother,

I had better write you a few words today than none at all; a few words will tell you that we are all well, which will still be worth something. My morning's work, or rather I should say attempt to work, is done; I will send you my salutation before running out to have my walk.

Jenny sent me a small Letter from Gill, poor little Jenny; in which she mentions that you and Jamie were over there that day, and that you in particular seemed to be improving from your former state of health. I can well believe you have much more composure now; and we all hope you will rapidly get back to your old condition at least; and that this new arrangement will suit better for everybody. Jenny's poor little Letter affects me with great sympathy; I will surely write to her soon. Will Jamie tell me: Has she any ready money in her pocket, and how much? I want to know that.— There came a Letter also from Jean, enclosing one from Isabella to her; the tidings of which were to the same purport.

We have got our upper room made very smart and comfortable here: I have the sole possession of it till 2 or 3 o'clock; then in the evenings Jane too moves up stairs, for it is warm, roomy, by far our best winter room, indeed the only good winter room we have. The room down below is not habitable in winter, except divided into two, with the “folding-doors” of it all sealed up and papered; at least I never like to inhabit it.——— Our weather is occasionally dry and cold; but for most part, rainy, rainy! I wonder what Jamie and the latter “half of his crop” are doing.

As to myself and my work, there is yet nothing whatever of a definite nature to be said. I am trying this and trying that, all round the workshop: I only know that idleness is naturally agreeable, to me as to all animals and men,—yet naturally desperately disagreeable too; and that I must and will get myself to work! I think of some small short thing first, till once my hand come in again. You will surely get better news of me before long.

On Thursday evening last, in the dusk before tea, a knock was heard; and the Doctor from Brighton walked up stairs. He had come in with his Patient and the Aunt1 and others of them: he was well, cheerful; and all was as well as usual in their establishment. He did not know but they would go back on the morrow. However I still found him last night in their Hôtel; Miss Scott (he said), the Patient's Aunt, was a little unwell; so that perhaps, I suppose, they will not go now till monday,—especially as today the weather proves bad. They know not yet when they are to return to London for good; “their house at Brighton is taken for one other week”: I fancy they will not stay very long at Brighton now.

Alas, dear Mother, there is three o'clock striking; I must run, and snatch myself a walk! I have said nothing at all today;—alas, I would like to say so many things. But the thoughts of men are often voiceless, and cannot be said. Ah, how many thoughts do you send to me, and I to you, of which there is nothing at all said! I will try to have another short word for you ready about Sunday next, when you come to the preaching. One word will be worth something. I am terribly tattered about at present,—till I get to work. Farewell, dear Mother; may God be with you all, and bless you always!

T. Carlyle