January-September 1845

The Collected Letters, Volume 19


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 3 February 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18450203-TC-MAC-01; CL 19: 19-20


Chelsea, Monday, 1 [3] feby, 1845

My dear Mother,

There comes no Examiner today, therefore I send a little Note to state the reason. The little dud of a Newsvender's Boy, who leaves the Paper here every saturday night forgot it last saturday, the dirty little scoundrel: it could not be got this morning! I will read it tonight; and then if you call “next day” at Ecclefechan, it will be there for you as usual. That is all. And as I have sent a sharp message to the poor Newsvender, the accident probably will not occur again.

This morning Jamie's Letter came; you must thank him for me, and say his Newspaper too will come tomorrow. He speaks of being some £20 short in his rent, owing to his great outlay for drains &c.1 Tell him if it be any convenience at all, I can lend him the money at once,—and he shall appoint his own day for repaying it; three months, 6 months, 12 months hence, any time he likes to set; and my confidence in him is perfect that he will keep his day. I might have written this to himself; but I am really altogether exceedingly busy today!

I have written already to Alick, and not forgotten your thanks: Jack also is writing, I believe;—I stuck Jamie's Letter into the Cover too, beside my own Note; so the Scotsbrig News will arrive in Canada fresh and fresh.

They tell me you have had a cold, dear Mother; Jenny also said you could not write, your hand being so shaky. I do not well like all that; but what can I do? I should like well to see your hand again however shaky.— The sun will be out, and then we shall be all better.

Here is a wretched rag of an American Newspaper, which came the other day; you may take it till the Examiner arrive, and then light your pipe with it! It seems I have an “immense reputation” in America;—which in fact does me neither ill nor good!2

Jane is a little stronger than she once was, but still complains somewhat. We have had a frost, which she likes ill; and today when the thaw has come, it is colder than ever for an in-doors person. What becomes of you, dear Mother? Keep close to the fire, with plenty of clothes about you, and let the fire be good!— The Dr was complaining a little last week; not an usual thing with him. It was cold, I think; he took it in time; beat back the invader, and is now well again, tho' a little shy of the night air still.

As for me I am the busiest of men; very disconsolate at “getting on so ill”; yet still struggle along better or worse. My health holds out prett[y] well, better than one could expect. I will have a long spell of the Country by and by!—and perhaps a horse to ride on again!— Mr Stewart of Gillenbie has, with great kindness and readiness, undertaken to assist Adamson in letting Craigenputtoch, so that I shall not need to come at present (I hope),3 I have work enough here, Heaven knows!— Take care of yourself my dear good Mother; ah me! You look down upon me, out of the Picture here,4 very patient; and seem to say, “Get on; do not tine [lose] heart; if thou tine heart, thou tines a'!”

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Frontispiece, CL Volume 13

Detail of a portrait of Margaret A. Carlyle by Maxwell of Dumfries, 1842, Carlyle's House, Chelsea.

Reproduced by permission of The National Trust for Places of Historical Interest or Natural Beauty, London.

Adieu dear Mother. My heart's blessing with you all.

T. C.