October 1831-September 1833

The Collected Letters, Volume 6


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 25 June 1833; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18330625-TC-MAC-01; CL 6:405-407.


Craigenputtoch, Tuesday / 25th June 1833—

My Dear Mother,

I here send you a batch of Literature; which I hope you will receive safe on Thursday. The “Church Property” Tract1 may now instruct Nivison,2 or whoever is ignorant of its doctrine: I send you also a separate copy of Diderot, which I got on Wednesday; tho' now perhaps it is hardly worth so long a journey for you. There is one for Alick too.

The Fraser's Magazine does contain a kind of Likeness;3 liker than I expected. Jane specially claims the Number as hers; has got her name on it; and insists much that said title be respected. I partly expect from Fraser another copy or two of the Picture; and shall not fail directly to send you one of them as yours. The opposite page will edify you very little; in fact, it is hardly intelligible (not at all so except to persons of the craft), but complimentary enough, and for so foolish a business may be considered as better than a wiser thing. The writer is one Dr Maginn, a mad rattling Irishman; of whom perhaps you have heard me speak. He wishes me well in his way; which indeed is very far from mine. So let us be thankful for all mercies.4

As you perhaps have seen Alick I need not occupy you with details of my Journey, which after Catlinns offered not the smallest adventure. Hendrick5 was rather lazyish till we got to Dumfries; at the Ha'dykes turn, finding he was not for Scotsbrig, he gave a deep sigh: but when once he knew the ground, no delay was in him; he rushed along thro' the beautiful evening, and set me down between ten and eleven, safe, and to find all safe. There had been little rain here; so I was the more impatiently expected. You recollect you had given me up for Influenza when I left you: but no such thing happened; the ride or something else had mended me, and now I am fully better than before. Jane too keeps fully stouter; we fancy that the weather is drying; and so hope to grow no worse. I wish I knew that your Cold and Earache had as well left you.

Since my return I have mended and new-stuffed the Clatch, which really looks very gate-going [road-worthy]; I have read a little, dreamed a little; and that is literally all that I have done. Fraser I believe is to have my Manuscript Book; which will therefore require a very little sorting: but on the whole I prefer resting for a while; at least as long as an uneasy conscience will let me. Absolute Idleness is a thing which, were it never so good, one cannot carry on long here.

The Austins have had Influenza, and were rather ill off with it, we heard; but are better now: one of them brought up Jack's Trunk (which M'Knight had) last Saturday.

Of Jack there came nothing yesterday, tho' we partly looked for him; neither today as yet, but it is only four o'clock, and there is time yet. A Letter for him has been here since Wednesday.

Nancy is about bundling off to M'Knight's; so I must have done. There were otherwise no end of my clatter. God bless and keep you all! You, dear Mother, shall hear again of me, I hope, ere long; and see me again ere very long.

Ever Your Affectionate, /

T. Carlyle—