August 1846-June 1847

The Collected Letters, Volume 21


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 12 April 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470412-TC-MAC-01; CL 21:191-192.


Chelsea, 12 April, 1847—

My dear Mother,—I am inexcuseable if I do not write you a word today; these two days, fully purposing to do it, I have forgotten till it was too late each day,—for this is now the third day since the respectable Dumfries Ham arrived, safe, in all its magnitude! Thanks, dear Mother; you are never weary doing us kindnesses; and how welcome and affecting to us are your acts of remembrance! We thank the beneficent Heavens too that we have still a Mother with that heart. In the wide world will never be found another so kind to us!— — But, on the whole, we call this Ham a most spirited affair in itself: the sending of it shews somebody, I think, to be a “lass of spearet!1 Does it not? The cost of carriage was precisely 4/9,—a cheap rate. We mean to break bulk on the article before long: Jane would not open it yet till we have got quite thro' another small one, which was undertaken lately, and is pretty well thro' now. Thanks, thanks,—and may ne'er waur [worse] be amang us.— — Did I ever thank you for the soap-bars you sent? Enough to shave me for years. And every day I reflect on the giver: for in truth it is an excellent article, and answers the end better than any Windsor, Perfumed, Naples, or other barber-composition I can fall in with here.

I got Jean's Letter duly, and witnessed your visit to Bonerick;2 thankful to see you moving about, when the time favoured. There has been much hard weather since you came to Dumfries; very cold here, as no doubt it has been with you too: but the wind is turned into the West now, which is much wholesomer whether wet or dry; and all things are beginning to look a little green. The people have what they call “Easter-holidays” during this week; that is to say, the Parliament and certain Public Offices are shut;3 and on some days the commonalty drink more gin: but with us it makes no difference at all. I still keep silent, very solitary; am airch [undecided] to begin writing anything,—and indeed I feel myself to be still a long way off writing much; tho' perhaps there is a good [book]4 still to be written, if I live. The whole world, as I often think, is breaking up into bottomless confusion; and one knows not what to say to it, or write to it, all at once!—

Meanwhile Jane is very busy putting up window-curtains, getting new covers made for sofas; meaning, I suppose, to be very bright when the sunny days come. She is a diligent little creature; and, like all of us, is always the better for some work. The Doctor I saw two nights ago, and shall perhaps see in few minutes: he has got a great many Book[s]5 about him, and is reading with great vigour,—not for any specific object, I think You often get a Newspaper from him;—and many a good wish along with it: some of the wishes may grow to good results by and by, perhaps!— Dear Mother, I must beg again that somebody would write to me, half a word, about your goings on. Thank Jenny for her Letter. Take care of yourself! Ever your son