The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE ; 17 July 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18500717-TC-MAC-01; CL 25: 118-119


Chelsea, 17 july, 1850—

My dear Mother,

Tho' still very busy, I will write you a line today,—the grand pressure of business being happily got past. My last Pamphlet is now happily all in the Printer's hands; what I call done; only a few small corrections waiting me now; and in a day or two I hope to have that vile job, for one, fairly off my hands! I can assure you all it is a welcome deliverance to me, this; what with hot biliary weather, what with “one tirade and another” (which latter item is itself rather heavy on me, of late) I had a sore wrestle with the thing; and have not often had to struggle harder not to be beat. And so I am out at last,—thanks be to Heaven, so far. Oh, Heaven is good, if we could steadily meet its goodness as we ought!

There is fundamentally nothing whatever wrong with my health: a good spell of rest, and solitary quiet somewhere, will, to all calculation, set me up again and more. I must now set about getting my house put in order; and arrange myself for that new course of adventure. What to do, or whitherward specially to go, is greatly an uncertainty with me; and indeed I had much rather lie down where I am, if that would answer; which it will not. Wales invites me by its hospitable silence; but it is a great way off,—almost as far as Scotsbrig, reckoned in time and difficulty; and the gaunt dulness that awaits me there, not even silent dulness altogether, is alarming to the imagination! The truth is, I am altogether undecided for some days yet; and the only certainty I can promise myself is that of coming to Scotsbrig for a few days by and by,—perhaps very soon; for my thoughts run in that direction, as one of the first places I should aim at. A sleep amid the wilderness of Craigenputtoch itself seems almost inviting to me in this humour.

This last Pamphlet is not much worth, but it will do too. Indeed I often judge falsely of the effect they will produce: Hudson, which I thought clearly the worst of the lot, seems to have given an unexpected degree of satisfaction, and is in various quarters called the best. So be it. They have been beautifully abused, and extensively read, those poor Pamphlets; and not a grain of God's truth is in them but will produce its whole effect one day (if there be truth in them at all): that is the comfort one has in such cases.— — Who “Denison” is is I don't know: his Pamphlet is rather clever, a downright kind of thing; and I send you his Letter, which came this morning.

Our weather was cool, almost cold for three weeks; and now within the last day or two it has grown excessively hot; tho' it is still partly grey, and has wind in it. I hope you do not suffer much by it, dear Mother: Jack comforts me extremely by reporting so well of your health.1 Tell him I have now got one of the lightest brown hats, and a white one besides; and in fact am clad altogether in apparel of imaginery weight,—fit for the summer we have. If Jean is with you, give my love to her; say I have often remembered her in silence.2 The like to Jamie and Isabella, and all the rest. I hope to see them all soon, once more; and to tell you all my news better than I can here! The Doctor must write again. God bless you dear Mother. Your affe / T. Carlyle