January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 4 July 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420704-TC-MAC-01; CL 14: 215-216


CHELSEA, Monday Morning, 4th July, 1842.

MY DEAR MOTHER,—Before setting to my work, let me expend a penny and a scrap of paper on you, merely to say that we are well, and to send a bit of ugly and curious public news that you cannot yet have heard of. On Saturday night it was publicly made known that Francis, the man who last shot at the Queen, was not to be hanged but to be sent to Botany Bay, or some such punishment. Well, yesterday about noon, as the Queen went to St. James' Chapel, a third individual presented his pistol at the Majesty of England, but was struck down and seized before he could fire it; he and another who seemed to be in concert with him are both laid up.1 There is no doubt of the fact. The two are both “young” men; we have yet heard nothing more of them than that. The person who struck down the pistol (and with it the man, so vehement was he) is said to be a gentleman's flunkey; but I do not know that for certain and have seen no newspaper yet. … Are not these strange times? The people are sick of their misgovernment, and the blackguards among them shoot at the poor Queen: as a man that wanted the steeple pulled down might at least fling a stone at the gilt weathercock. The poor little Queen has a horrid business of it,—cannot take a drive in HER clatch [clumsy gig] without risk of being shot! Our clatch is much safer. All men are becoming alarmed at the state of the country,—as I think they well may.

Jane and her cousin have this morning been got off to Windsor by the Sterlings. The jaunt in the open air will do the poor Wifie good.

John is very well. I parted with him last night near his own house rather after 10 o'clock.

Adieu, dear Mother. Here is a foolish Yankee letter of adoration to me. Burn it!

Your affectionate, /