October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 28 August 1832; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18320828-TC-MAC-01; CL 6:214-215.


Craigenputtoch, 28th August 1832

My dear Mother,

I wrote you a little word this night week; not thinking I should have a call to write you another so soon. Our luck is better than we expected. Jack's Letter1 comes last Wednesday, and the Review article too; of both which you must forthwith have a look.

Jack is well, and all is well with him. I had some thoughts of writing him today; but put it off till next week: an unanswered Letter of mine is still on the way to him, or has arrived lately.

The foreign Quarterly Review paper2 is for Alick, his Edinburgh one3 having failed: you will take a look at it as it passes, and see whether I have made it “too high.” There is not so much hurry about this: Alick does not expect this so soon, perhaps does not expect it at all. I was very sorry to disappoint him on his Paper last week, and you of your Examiner; but what could I do? This week, I hope, will prove luckier; farther, I am just writing to John Mill to see whether he can set me on some better train in the Newspaper way; and Mill is a very punctual man.

Our new servant woman is deafish, but not donnert [stupid]; and waal [agile] as an eel. She has good skill too, and does perfectly well. The poor Boy (whom his old Neighbour4 was forcing and leading to Deception and Devilry) looks like a fish restored to water, ever since ‘the Revolution’: all takes its old course again, as well as ever.

For myself I have stuck like a burr to my reading, and managed a volume every lawful day. On Sabbath I read to my assembled household, in the Book of Genesis. Today I have been writing mostly Letters; in which I have come poor speed. This Task must and shall be done: then I will see you, and be glad a little. My health, notwithstanding Jack's apprehensions, continues as it was, or even improves.— Jane has had a dirty sneaking cold all this week; but it is now nearly gone. She has improved very greatly since you saw her; drinks trefoil, and rides. We have got no news from any side I think, since I wrote.

The weather I am afraid is not good for Scotsbrig and Jamie; here we have it very cold and drizzly and disagreeable; and the fields fast whitening: however, we must all keep up our hearts. There are weeks of sunshine yet waiting us.— Alick wrote last Wednesday that you were all in your usual way: tell my worthy Jean that it has become absolutely necessary for her to take up the pen, and write more definitely. I am never wholly free from anxieties about you: and yet it is wrong to grieve oneself, and good to hope rather than fear. I beg of you again and again, dear Mother, to take care of yourself; and I entreat every one of them (personally) to take care of you. Our mercies, as Jack says, are indeed manifold: let us prize them, and enjoy them.— The dark rushes down all at once, and the Boy must off to M'Knight's. My love to every one of you. God keep you all!— Ever (my dear Mother) your affectionate

T. Carlyle.