April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 3 July 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440703-TC-MAC-01; CL 18: 101-102


Chelsea, 3 july, 1844—

My dear Mother,

You have heard of me not long since; but it seems a great while since I had any little word with yourself; therefore, this night before the light entirely go, I will send you a little line, in hopes of provoking you to send me an answer soon.

Since Monday gone a week, as I think you heard before, I have been alone, quite left to my own devices: Jane went away that morning to Liverpool to see her Uncle once more, where she still continues. She had a very bad passage, poor thing, having taken a kind of “sea-sickness” in the rail-carriage, which made a most uncomfortable journey of it for her: however, she is pretty well since, and lets me hear from her almost every day. She is to stay till next week at her uncle's, and then she has another visit or two to pay among the people there-abouts; so that I suppose it will be some ten days yet before she think of coming back to me. I am very much alone ever since she went away, and study to be diligent; but do not make much progress either,—indeed the weather is so oppressive to me, I am not very brisk in working.

The other day I went out some ten miles into the Country, to the House of a Mr Baring, where I staid all night. The Country is beautiful, green and leafy, one of the prettiest countries; we were a grand party all official persons and grandees male and female, and polite exceedingly: but, alas, I awoke at four in the morning,—what can the bare hand do! Come home to its work again, and give up visits!—

Jack, it seems, is gone over to Kirkcudbright to visit Mrs Church;1 you are to be at Gill in the interim, he says. I hope the fresh air and sea-bathing there will do you good, dear Mother; you have need of it by all that I can learn. O do take care of yourself! Poor Jenny too, they tell me, has been suffering from a bad cold; I hope it is true that she has got better of it. And Mary, what is Mary doing? Toiling and working, Jamie and she, I dare say; it is the lot of us all in this world. And they are not the unhappiest by far that have honest work to do. There are some scores of thousands galloping about this place at present, to whom it would be the indisputablest blessing if any friend could set them fairly to work, were it but at breaking lint [flax], or weeding potatoes!— By the bye, I think I saw the old Marquis of Queensberry2 one day, riding about among the rest here; I noticed him looking at me, and then knew the face of him.

Poor Mrs Buller has been very unwell; it is a cough which continually plagues her: she has determined on going to Italy thro' the winter. John Sterling continues in an altogether weak and dangerous state; his old Father, who was here today, is also very unwell,—a fiery unreasonable old fellow, whom loneliness, the loss of his Wife and state of his son have driven into great excitement.

You would be delighted to get Alick's Letters; I have seldom put anything into the post-Office with better goodwill! Poor Alick