July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 6 August 1847; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18470806-TC-MAC-01; CL 22: 24-25


Chelsea, Friday Evening 6 August, 1847—

My dear Mother,

We are in a great hurry today; all busy packing, with an eye to leave Town tomorrow morning! We set off, if all go well, at half past ten; Jane and I both. Our face is set northward; and I, for one, certainly mean to try if I can see Annandale and you before I return. But when, or specially by what route, is yet by no means settled; nor whether Jane will go with me farther than into Derbyshire or Yorkshire, and thence return. She had a speculation, as perhaps I told you, about going on to Haddington itself; and wrote lately to Miss Donaldson about it: but there were gay Guests coming to the Donaldsons's; and so in spite of their kind invitations, Jane decided to give up that. But I find her in a weakly state of health, and in poor spirits; and withal so much improved by her week of Addiscombe (from which I dated the last Letter to you), that I really think a little country quiet beside me may do her good. And so we are going to try; and have a ride in the Rail at any rate, and take a look of Derbyshire, and the mineral springs!— Our first route, tomorrow, after which nothing is yet fixed, will be to a nice mineral-well place called Matlock (some 40 or 50 miles) on this side of Manchester, that is, beyond Manchester for you); there, or else at Buxton, another of the same, nearer Manchester, we hope to be able to get quiet lodgings, and if so may continue for a while;—if not, we travel on, over the hills to Lancashire or Yorkshire: there Jane, if she will not follow me to Scotland, can turn home again, and I will come along by myself. But as I say, nothing is fixed; and you must wait for about 3 days more, and then I shall be able at least to tell you whither to direct a Letter to me; which I cannot at present do. I am as usual very “stiff to the reyse”!1—and dislike travelling terribly:— but I suppose it will really do us good to be stirred up a little; and surely, if I could get upon the free moors and hillsides anywhere, and be left altogether in silence for a while, I feel as as2 if it would be wholesome for me. In three or perhaps four days more, you may begin to expect farther tidings of us.

We saw Jack yesternight, and the night before: he is very well; busy with his Printers, and getting handsomely on. I too am in my usual way of health, except that 4 days ago, I got a dirty rheumatism in the back, which has made me ridiculously lame for two days, but is now mostly all go.3 The Matlock waters and the Buxton are of sovereign virtue for that disorder.— —

“Tea is ready,” they say: so I must off. O my dear Mother, I wish I were at your ingle-cheek [fireside] this night! But that too, we hope, will come. Take care of yourself. Our love to one and all.

T. Carlyle