April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; August 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18440800-TC-MAC-01; CL 18: 160-161


[early August 1844]

sider to be the great secret of progress. He that waits always for good weather to work in, will find his job sadly in arrear at the year's end! I hope to get my poor bewildered Book done yet, by and by;—and then I am for a long spell of country, of idleness and silence,—a complete fill of country; which I have never yet had since I came to live here.

My health, in spite of the heat, keeps wonderfully good. Really I seem to be better than last year when I was “clatching about the country,” tumbling disconsolate from place to place, finding rest nowhere for the sole of my foot! I study to humour the heat here; I do not go out at all till evening in those blazing sunshiny days; then I study some quietest line of Hedge-lanes (which I often find almost free of human Cockneys, among the Kensington Cabbage fields, a little to the North-west of me here), and there I walk under the blessed silver twilight, enough to suffice me. I pack blockheads more and more briefly out of my road: “Why should you lap up my time from me, which is like lapping up my blood and life, you blockhead!”— I am more solitary, and really quieter here, than I could be in many other places. In a week or two, especially, the Quality, most of whom are already on the wing, will be altogether gone: then we shall have beautiful empty streets in this Western end of London, and the place all to ourselves. I take a showerbath daily, which I find do me real good. None of you, I fear, ever meddle with that excellent showerbath at Scotsbrig! Yet I am nearly sure it would be beneficial to almost any of you, man or woman, that durst attempt it!—

Our last Ham ended honourably yesterday morning! They have been two faithful servants, those two Hams; better stuff was never cut;—and I believe they are very wholesome too. The curing was good and the original stuff was good: let our kind Friends understand this for their comfort.——— I think I shall perhaps have some clothes from Tom Garthwaite by and by; if Jamie be still in the season for similar hams (which I doubt) we may perhaps commission him to try his hand at another pair. But in the interim, let him do nothing, unless he hear farther.

Where the Dr is at present, or what he is occupied in, I cannot very distinctly guess. In his last Note from Scotsbrig he spoke about “breakfast and departure”: the breakfast I have no doubt he ate; but in what direction did he “depart”? I have never heard more word of him.——— Jean at Dumfries is my patient creditor for a Letter: tell her I have not forgotten the debt by any means; but she knows my hurry.

Dear Mother, here is a poor little Bank-Note, which I send you, to see if you will buy yourself something with it. I do not know what will do you most good; but I beg as a real favour to me that you will ascertain for my sake, and do accordingly.——— Alas, it is so little I can accomplish for you;—as it were, absolutely nothing: and I owe you, and feel at all times that I owe you, so very much. My blessing on you, and life-long thanks, dear Mother!—

Isabella I hope is somewhat improving in this summer weather. Jamie will not despond about Farms, but set himself manfully to doing what is to be done in the business. Is Jenny with you, and is she quite recovered?1— Adieu, my dear Mother; I have written far more than I intended, and yet but a small fraction of my story towards you! Ever your affectione

T. Carlyle