The Collected Letters, Volume 2


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 19 August 1823; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18230819-TC-MAC-01; CL 2:418-419.


Edinr, 19th August 1823—

My dear Mother,

Before leaving this miserable city, in which I have been destined to experience so many vexations first and last, I determined in packing up my great-coat to enclose a piece of tartan in it to make you a cloak of. It was the best I could find; but surely the knaves have made me take nearly twice as much as was required. You can make yourself a substantial covering from the winter wind out of it in the first, and turn the rest into a scarf or what-soever you think fittest. Wear it when you go to Church or Market, in bad weather, and think with yourself that never mortal was more welcome to all the accommodation such a thing can afford, or more deserving of it at my hands. These little things are of no importance in themselves; but as pledges of mindfulness and affection, they become more valuable than aught else. Wear this, then, for my sake.

I purposed sending down a great-coat for my father; but none could I find of a suitable sort, under about three pounds' price; and I doubted if some other more suitable gift could not be got for such a sum. I have therefore postponed the purchase of this, till I hear from home. I wish you would endeavour in a clandestick way to ascertain what had best be done. I am determined to send my worthy Father a gift of some kind: the only thing now is to decide what would be of most service to him. Tell me about it, or make Jack tell me: but mention no syllable of it to the goodman

I have the worst of pens, and my hand is very unsteady; besides I am just about to set forth on my journey. I have been lucky in the weather; but as usual very much disturbed in my sleep. I wish I were at Kinnaird, since I have left Mainhill. Farewell my dear Mother; you shall come and order my cottage for me yet. Sick or whole I am ever

Your affecte Son, /

Th: Carlyle—