The Collected Letters, Volume 2


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 16 October 1822; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18221016-TC-MAC-01; CL 2:176-177.


Wednesday-night, Edinr [16? October 1822]—

My dear Mother,

I have literally only ten minutes to write you in; but knowing your mind in that respect, I think it better to send you the smallest note in the world rather than none at all; and accordingly I am at work, writing with as much spirit as if I had an hour before me.

One reason that impels me is the wish I feel to have more precise and certain information about the state of your health and spirits than I have obtained for some weeks: and next time the Carrier comes out, I expect to hear a minute account of the condition in which you find yourself, now that the hurly-burly of harvest is over, and you have leisure to collect yourself so far as to consider and say how it actually fares with you. I will hope that you study by all means to make yourself comfortable, and keep the measure of health that is allowed you; and which you cannot doubt is a greater blessing to all of us, than we have in the world besides. I give you the most strict injunction to be no moment in want of any thing which I can procure for you. I should think it the worst usage you could give me, if you yielded to the voice of any foolish scruple in such a case, and held your peace when any effort of mine might help you. What is there in this world that is half so valuable to us as to love one another, and to live in the hope of loving one another forever? I do intreat of you to let me know whenever I can serve you in the smallest matter. The spectacles we have sent down: they seem not a jot the worse; and having two pairs, you will now be enabled to sew &c with the inferior pair, keeping the bettermost for Church and other such occasions.

Tell me truly do you get tea every day? If you do not, I command you (being a man skilful in such matters) and therefore entitled to command) to get into the practice of habitually taking it, without delay. I know it is useful to you; and it would spoil the taste of my own to think that you were unserved.

But my time is elapsed, and I must run. It is half-past five, and I have not dined yet! I design to send you a long discussion about these greet [fol]k some day soon. They do not seem a whit happier than you—not a single whit[.]

Give my respects and love to all the people about Mainhill. We have a hope to see you here in winter! Adieu My dear Mother! I am ever yours

Th: Carlyle—