The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 1 January 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510101-TC-MAC-01; CL 26: 1-3


Chelsea, 1 jany, 1851

My dear Mother,

Wishing right heartily “a happy new year” to you all, I have, this day, with a considerable struggle, corded up and sent off by the Caledonian Railway, a Parcel addressed to you, which I hope Jamie will get for you, and pay, at the Swaugh,1 one of these days. He is to pay it, and mark the amount to me; which I will settle, along with the sovereign he was to give to poor John Carlyle:2 I will pay him both together. And let somebody write as soon as the Parcel gets fairly to hand. There are some bits of Books in it: one (Crookshank,3 which I am sorry to see so very dim, but could not get another copy) is for yourself; one is for Jamie; another is for Jenny:4 one or two are not marked to anybody,—indeed they are of next to no value at all;—and you may give them to whosoever has Bookshelves and a taste for them. The rest of the duddery and articles (your own “unions” among them), except a rag of a neck-scarf marked for Isabella, are very much at Mother's disposal! I have had my own battle tying them up; but flatter myself it is done in a workmanlike manner at last! Unhappily the whole affair, except as a proof of my love, is worth so very little,—if anything at all!

And here farther, dear Mother, is a bit of a Bank-picture;5 which I want you to split in two halves; one half for Isabella along with the scarf, or neck-comforter;—the other half you are to take, and buy yourself some newyear's thing that will be of use to you. Do, dear Mother; if I could myself know anything that would do you good, how gladly would I get it for you! I think there is no duty in this world that I ought more gladly to do. Oh, my dear good Mother, let us all thank the Divine Beneficence for you and for ourselves. Have we not, as you often say, “Many Mercies, ”—very many, and very precious,—to acknowledge?— —

Our weather is strong from the West, as warm and soft an atmosphere at Newyeardays as I almost ever saw. Not much rain, nor even fog; only the streets very clammy. People here do not much mind Newyearday; but they have been very diligently eating and drinking since Christmas, this day week. Both Jane and I are wonderfully well, for us;—that “for us” is not a very high figure on the scale; but we ought to rejoice it is so well.

Thank Jenny for her Letter; we were right thankful to have her news. I will write a line to John6 too, now that my hand is in; and after that it will be high time for me to take the street for an hour or so. Yesterday we had a Note from Jean7 at Dumfries; to whom by her request I am sending off the Fraser's Magazine of this month. Do you care anything about these Magazines at Scotsbrig? The same No, by a little management, might readily serve both houses.—Dear Mother, need I say that I pray with my whole heart for all blessings on you! May God guide and bless us all always!—

Your affectionate

T. Carlyle