1824- 1825

The Collected Letters, Volume 3


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 5 June 1824; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18240605-TC-MAC-01; CL 3:77-78.


Edinr, 5th June, 1824—

My dear Mother,

I am within an hour of sailing for London, and as it is likely to be longer than I anticipated before you hear of me, I scribble you a few lines in the greatest possible hurry to let you know that it is well with me, and that you must not be uneasy till you hear from me.

I was not more hurt by my journey hither than I expected: I went out to Haddington, and they nursed me with the greatest care till I was completely recovered. Brown or Margaret Farries1 I did not see or hear of tho' I inquired and intended to call. The worthy people would not let me leave Haddington; or by dint of making great efforts I might have been in London to-day by the steam-boat of Wednesday. To-night I sail in a handsome smack with only four fellow passengers, Sir Something and two ladies and Mr Something. The wind is pretty good. We expect to be there in a week. About ten or twelve days after this, the Coach will bring you a letter from me.

You will be happy to learn that we are not bound for Cornwall at present, perhaps not at all. I had a letter from Buller very kindly anxious to see me: he is standing candidate for the post of an India Director;2 and it is proposed to take Lodgings for the boys and me somewhere in the rural vicinity of London, and let us carry on our studies as our own humour suits. This I shall like far better than going to Looe.

Here in Edinr I have managed all things quite well. I have just accompanied to Farries' lodgings a packet for home, containing two copies of the Novel3 for the Boys, some odds and ends for my father, and a small cheap shawl for you. This was selected and cheapened for you at Haddington by my good Jane; a circumstance which I assured her would not diminish its value in your eyes. I saw the Targer for two days: he left me this morning; we are to meet again in London. He goes to France about july; is well enough, I think, but as full of whims as possible. He thought I had poisoned him by pouring two not one spoonful of milk into his tea this very morning. At least so I declared to him, with much laughter. He is as affectionate & honest as ever. I have got a letter to Thomas Campbell the Poet from Brewster, and one to Telford4 (for whom I care not two doits): the Dr promises me a multitude of others, as soon as he can get them written. With Boyd I settled finally, and yesterday converted his bill into a check for £180 payable at sight in London. I rejoice that such was my bargain: I should have been very unhappy else at present. I have also sent off all my copies—8 to London, 2 home, 1 Targer, 1 Murray, 1 Mrs Brewster, Mrs Johnston Grange, Ben Nelson, Waugh &c &c[.] George Bell the Surgeon would take nothing for his advising and drugs: I gave him a copy also. So that now they are all disposed of together.

Tell Jack that Wilhelm Tell is coming for him by Farries: I would have sent the shoes, but could not possibly get them packed. Bid the good Logician, but most faithful brother, write as soon as ever he gets my address. Great things are expected of him by various people. Tell him Boyd will send two Pauls5 down whenever they are ready. I also make him heir [to my] seal-skin cap: I missed it three minutes after he was g[one, ju]st three minutes too late.

But now my dear Mother I am going. The people are bringing me tea; after which Murray is to come and accompany me down to Leith. I will write directly. There is no danger at all: the weather is beautiful as summer should be: and is not God the ruler of water as of Land? May His blessing be upon you all forever! Give my kindest love to all the posse of brothers & sisters, beginning with Alick & ending with Jenny. Their names and interests are all present with me at this moment. My best affection to my Father. I am always

My dear Mother, / Your true son, /

T. Carlyle