The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 12 November 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511112-TC-MAC-01; CL 26: 227-228


Chelsea, 12 Novr, 1851—

My dear Mother,

Tho' I am very busy, and have absolutely nothing in the way of news, I will send you a word today,—were it only to finish out the Note that was interrupted above a week ago. Jack wrote since that; and gave us great pleasure by the notice he sent of your being down at “the Wa's,” which we thought was a very good symptom of our brave old Mother! I think it will surely do you good, whenever you find yourself equal to it, to rouse yourself and make such an expedition. There are not many such old friends now left as the good old Dame there; a hardy industrious pious soul, whom it is well worth your while to crack a little with, on occasion Only take care of the bad weather; it is only on a chosen day that Jack will let you venture out so far at this season!—

Word also comes that you have got me some new socks made: dear good Mother, I know not how to thank you for such a service: I have plenty of the old socks you made me yet, and no need of new ones; yet the Gift shall be welcome, and have a value for me which no stockings in the world elsewhere could pretend to! They will come by the first opportune conveyance; and awaken thoughts in me which are not sad only but better than sad. I have had a good Mother in this world, whatever other good may have been denied me!

Jane continues well; she is gone out today to see a set of my Works, which I have just been getting bound to send away as a Gift to Dr Gully of the Malvern Water-Cure, in testimony of his great goodness to me. He wished me to come back at Christmas; but that, I imagine, I shall not do: I carry on some portion of his water—practices here,—bathing and walking what I can afford;—and am unwilling to consume more time and resources in that at present. On the whole, I am really pretty well; and seem actually to have derived some benefit from my exertions last autumn. I ought rather to be trying now, with all my heart, this question: How to make some good use of the health I have! Alas, that is a complex question too; and not quite easy to solve, to my mind, just yet. I keep very silent, and endeavour to be on the look-out,—over all the world, so far as I can get sight of the same.

Jean sent a Note two days ago, which I inclose; she there speaks of the Dr's going to Moffat some day soon: we shall likely hear from him when that is over. I sent her a little Book (Highland Notebook) yesterday; which she will give to you, for a day's amusement, when she has done with it, if you care to have it.

The Butter is now growing very good: hitherto, in the top part of the broken pitcher there was some inferiority traceable,—a kind of half-perceptible greasy taste, we called it;—nay some pieces (squeezed off, I suppose, in crushing it into the new pitcher, and then squeezed on again in new junction) had to be taken out altogether: but now the remainder (perhaps half of the broken or originally half-filled pitcher may still remain) is excellent as of old; and so, we have little doubt, it will continue to the bottom of this, and all thro' the other. Let Isabella know this, to whom personally I mean to write by and by.— I still ride now and then; fully as much as I wish. Adieu, dear Mother: Blessings on you all.— T. Carlyle