January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 6 May 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420506-TC-MAC-01; CL 14: 180-181


Rugby, Warwickshire / Friday Night (10½ o'clock) [6 May 1842]

My dear Mother,

Here in this quiet room, before going to bed, I will write you a small short word, to say that I am got safe so far, and all well, within 70 miles (or 4 hours railwaying) of home, where I hope to be before tomorrow this time. I did send you a newspaper from Liverpool, which I hope you have already received; but an express assurance in words will also be welcome; and if I were to put it off till tomorrow, you could not receive it till Tuesday morning at soonest.

I feel very strange to be here: I came off the railway at 5 o'clock this afternoon; the people1 welcomed me in the kindliest manner, and I am very glad that I did not yield to the strong slavish desire I had to baulk my kind hosts, and rush right onwards! I am in a large sumptuous room, as quiet as sleep itself; very far from a certain little upper room in Scotsbrig, where perhaps I could like better to be;—but we must not complain, dear Mother; it is one of the choicest blessings of Heaven to me that I can meet you so often, that you are still spared to me, as a kind Mother, under this sun. Blessings be upon your little upstairs household yonder! The same kind Providence watches over us there as here; and is not wearied in sending us many mercies.

We got into Liverpool by our Steamer very successfully about seven O'clock; the good Welshes all welcomed me “in their choicest mood.” Next day (yesterday) I went over to Manchester; saw the people I was in quest of there; but preferred returning to Liverpool at night, in order not to change my bed. This morning at half past ten, I got off; I was not in very high order at setting out, but I grew better by sitting quiet in the railway carriage; I feel considerably better at present, and look forward to a more comfortable sleep than any of the last three nights have yielded. Tomorrow they will carry me to see the field of Oliver Cromwell's great Battle at Naseby, and then put me into the railway for London in good time. I again feel very glad that I kept my purpose, and did not fly away like a fool as I was minded!

Poor Manchester looked far too clear; there was not the third part of the smoke that is usual there; the mills being, so many of them, out of work. Numbers of idle people were visible in the streets. I understand Birmingham is no better: it is a dreary time.— There came two Newspapers from Chelsea (no Letter); these I sent on this morning to Dumfries.

I hope Jenny is with you tonight; she will be useful at this time particularly. Jamie will have got rain to his fields too now: we had a good heavy rain at Manchester