July 1847-March 1848

The Collected Letters, Volume 22


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 26 January 1848; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18480126-TC-MAC-01; CL 22: 233-234


Chelsea, Wednesday, 26 jany 1848

My dear Mother,

You will cheerfully accept a small word from me, just to say how matters generally have gone with us. We got Isabella's Letter to John,1 and were very thankful; it is our only news from Scotsbrig. We cannot but fancy you to be all suffering much from the cold there; but hope that the weaker of you, especially our poor Mother herself, are shrunk close into the warmest corner, and endeavouring to wear out the storm in expectation of better weather soon. Here it is a grey ringing frost; a strong Northeast wind often blowing, but no snow as yet.

Jane did not come to Alverstoke at all: she set two successive days, but her cold continued, and the stern weather continued; whereupon she gave up the enterprise. To my real satisfaction; for in the meanwhile I myself had contracted a cold, and taken to coughing; which with the multitudinous tumult of company and servants, and the obligation to go out whenever I smoked, I saw no chance of doing good with: therefore, on learning Jane's final resolve, I too decided to be off;—and accordingly returned to Cheyne Row the day before yesterday; and have not crossed the threshold since. I have had two excellent nights of sleep; have fed myself as I liked, and sat smoking at my own ingle-nook; much more comfortable every way: and so my cold, this morning, is very considerably abated; and by means of wrappages I intend to venture out today for a walk; and in short I expect to be in my old way very soon. Poor Jane is a much weaker affair than I: but she too is getting sleep now; her cough is not deep or dangerous; so that, when the wild weather ends, we expect it also will end. Jack comes down faithfully every evening: he too, poor fellow, has got a kind of cold, which I suppose he will have to take to doctoring now, tho' he does not much complain hitherto, and indeed it is yet only of some three days standing. Thus you see, dear Mother, we are none of us quite off the invalid list; yet none of us very deep in it;—and certainly all well off in comparison with the generality, for I believe it has been the unhealthiest season anybody remembers for ten years back. Happily we expect it will soon end now.

So soon as my cold is quite gone, I have one or two bits of jobs that I must fall to. Not of much moment; but they will keep me going: a big job lies deep in the background, not yet shaped into any form, but likely to be heavy enough when it comes!— You see they are still firing away at these new Cromwell Letters: poor fellows!2 I sit and say not a word, and care not a doit.— If Isabella or some of them would write to us again? We bid you all keep within doors; and you, dear Mother, especially take care of yourself! I have a little Note to write to Jean at Dumfries,—from whom I heard lately, all well,—after which I am out for a rapid walk. Good b'ye, dear Mother: I will write soon again. Ever your affectionate T. Carlyle

Jamies Newspaper has not come, this week; I know not why.