The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 22 September 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18510922-TC-MAC-01; CL 26: 180-182


Chelsea, Monday 22 Septr, 1851—

My dear Mother,

On Saturday night we got Isabella's little Note, which was a great comfort to us, for which we are much obliged to her. It was among my consolations that morning, that probably you might get a little better when left altogether in quiet. John will be home in the course of this week, I think, and then I shall be able to fancy you as in a more protected situation. He talks of getting over one of the Austin lasses, this winter, to light the fires, to sweep and wash for you; a plan which I hope you too will find feasible and advantageous. He is in possession of my notions about it; understands sufficiently how glad I should be to contribute in any way to any arrangement whatever that could do you a little good, were it even a very little. Oh, my dear Mother, you well deserve it of me, and of all of us; and I hope we know that well.

Jack wrote to you on Saturday, or I would have written. I wrote a short Note to Jean; I had varieties of letters to write. The Leader, I conclude, has come to you today: that was by mistake, and inattention to the orders given:—however, if Isabella will address it to Alick, we have seen the paper here, and it will be all right still. I write an address and enclose it here; it has merely to be wrapt round the Paper, and put into the Post-office. Next week we shall take better care.

We had two rather restless days among the Stanleys and their high quality at Alderley. Everybody was as kind to us as people could be: but all was going topsyturvy, the grand wedding being just at hand (takes place tomorrow, Tuesday); and in particular, the mother (Lady Stanley, a Beauty once, and a really good soul always) and the young Damsel herself were almost out of their wits; “quite carried.” Sleep was a scarce article with me, still scarcer with poor Jane; there was no rest for anybody in those “marble Halls”!1 On the whole however we did very well; I had some nice friendly talk with the Master of the House, who is a clever man, and much attached to me for such a man; a nice ride one day,—a rank grassy country, full of trees meadows and water-pools; all going upon “Cheshire cheese,”—the little harvest they had was not more forward than about Hoddam;2 the potatoes fairly half gone. Next morning we were handsomely forwarded (Friday at 10 o'clock) to the nearest Station (only a mile or two off); got into a nice carriage not too crowded, and “the best train of the line” (says Jack), and in six hours more were fairly on London pavement again, without accident of any kind whatever. Jack was looking blithe and well; an excellent wholesome dinner stood ready; and all was well, or as well as we could hope to find it; and great room for thankfulness on all sides of us here. I have had two good sleeps out of three; and feel still as if I should be perceptibly better, were I once fairly recovered from these late tumults: poor Jane had a bad headache yesterday, but it went away in the evening, and I suppose she too will be better now. Last night a number of good friends called, whom we were glad to talk a word with: Darwin, the German Neuberg,—in fact they and Craik with a stranger whom Neuberg had brought,3 were all, tho' I called them “a number.” Neuberg has printed a very pretty German Book, consisting of Translations from me (very well done) which he calls “contributions to the Gospel of Labour,”4 really not a bad thing of its kind!— Dear Mother I have taken the top of the morning to write to you; but now I must close, having many things to do. Jack is nailing his boxes in the room above me; he is for being off very soon! I send Jamie's Paper today. Good be with you, dear Mother, that is my prayer always. Your affectionate

T. Carlyle

It appears the Leader was not sent to you; and you only get it now along with this, addressed by Jack. Read it; then on to Alick, as aforesaid.— Jack is for leaving us, towards Yorkshire and Mrs Paulet's5 tomorrow.