January 1829-September 1831

The Collected Letters, Volume 5


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 12 January 1830; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18300112-TC-MAC-01; CL 5:57-58.


Craigenputtoch, Tuesday Night [12 January 1830]

My Dear Mother,

By Jamie's request, tho' in the extreme of haste, I write you one line to say that he expects to be home on Friday, with a cart containing some shotts [pigs] which he has bought from Alick. He cannot come tomorrow, for the mournful duty which has devolved on him: he has the funeral of a Friend to attend on!

You will learn, probably by this same conveyance that your Brother Sandy has been called away. A messenger (one of John's apprentices)1 came up today with funeral Letters: our poor Uncle had died on Sabbath night; but the boy knows no particulars. To me it was a sad and altogether unexpected thing; and yet why should one grieve in this rapid race of ours that our brother gets the start of us a little way: “in an hour we shall follow and rejoin him.” Poor Sandy! The cold winter sleets, and the colder chill of Poverty, will beat on him no more: he has borne his burden to the mark; and the heavy-laden is now at rest.

Alas! how often have I talked with you of helping him; and now he is hidden from our eyes. O whatsoever our hand findeth to do let us do it quickly!2 “Hell,” they say, “is paved with good Resolutions.”3

I cannot go to the funeral; I am disabled (only with loss of skin) so that I cannot ride. I have written a letter to my Uncle John to that effect.

Jane would have spared me readily, tho' she could not without inconvenience: she grew very considerably worse after little Jane went away; for two days we had Elliott in waiting, ready to ride for a Doctor: but the throat improved a little; and she has been recovering decidedly tho' slowly for above a week.— I rejoice to hear my Father is better. Good night, Dear Mother! My best love to every one. Let us all love each other while here;4 for it is but short space that we continue. Good night I am ever

your affectionate Son— /

T. Carlyle