The Collected Letters, Volume 26


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 4 December 1851; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18511204-TC-MAC-01; CL 26: 250-251


Chelsea, Thursday 4 decr / 1851—

My dear good Mother,—This is my Fifty-sixth Birthday; and I will write you a word, one word only, for I am tossed about terribly with business as usual. What a day for me; a day of many thoughts! Fifty-six years is a long time, dear Mother; but yet it is short, and no longer than a moment, to ETERNITY, which is the real date that all of us young and old belong to. We have had our share of toils and contradictions, sorrows enough each one of us: but has not the great Father been GOOD to us too? Oh yes, Oh yes; never let us cease to acknowledge that; and let us trust always that in the boundless durations that are coming we may have the same experience. Wrong to one of us He cannot do. It will all be right, and blessed, and for good that He does. Let us rest there; other rest we have none! And so I welcome in the new section of months granted us in our pilgrimage; and pray for God's blessing on us all. Amen.


This is much too solemn for so small a Note. I meant only to say I was well here in my solitude; and that Jane who went on Monday writes me encouragingly from The Grange. Poor little soul, she had a gift lying on my table this morning, just as if she had been here herself!1 I get ample reading in my solitude; have hardly spoken one word these three days, except to the Dog Nero.— — I enclose some Letters for John; whom thank for writing, and tell to write again. Say he may keep this Varnhagen letter, I having taken a Note of it. We have mild weather, tolerable when there is any tradition of a Sun; today we have him shining visibly, and I am going out by and by to have a scamper on horseback. “A grand revolution in Paris,” they say; but no news about it this morning.2 God bless you, dear Mother

T. Carlyle