October 1833-December 1834

The Collected Letters, Volume 7


TC TO MARGARET A. CARLYLE; 27 June 1834; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18340627-TC-MAC-01; CL 7:227-228.


London, 27th June 1834.

My Dear Mother,

Tho' my time is perhaps more than run, I will not send this1 off without a little word specially for you. Jean's Letter yesterday gave me a satisfaction I have not had the like of for long: I pray you thank her kindly from me, and say that in a week or two I will repay her by a London Letter. Probably my next Letter may be to her: but at any rate to some of you I will write in the appointed “three weeks.” She tells me you are well, and hopeful, which I feel to be the chief of my earthly mercies.

But when are you to write, and tell me so yourself? Jean describes your Lodging at Scotsbrig, and gives me a very fair idea of it; but it will not be right till you have sat down in the little end-room, and written me a Letter! Depend upon that.

Leigh Hunt is to give me an Examiner on Tuesday or Wednesday, but will perhaps not be very regular: the first day after, when I am up in town, I will carry it to the Post-office (we have a Post-office here, but it is some twopence, or some penny dearer); and you may generally calculate on it on Sabbath or at farthest on Monday. The two strokes will always be worth something to you.

Alick has all my news, and will certainly read you the Letter; and I should think sate you with that for once: yet I do not know.

I forgot to say that our Maid continued to go along in the finest way: she seems to me a very singular woman, quite above the common run, but even therefore quite out of it, and so exposed to new risks. We have the peacefullest most united household we ever had.— Furthermore, I have bought me a white Hat, for twelve shillings; and walk about in it, quite a beauty! Down at Chelsea I can even wear my grey jacket about the streets: in the Garden, smoking I constantly wear my old girdle straw one. We have two vines and a walnut-tree; all with a kind of show of fruit.

Poor William Austin! I have read no truer Tragedy than Jean's account of his journey up. We felt a deep regret for him and wish it were in our power to say anything that would comfort those he has [left.] He was a sober innocent man; and seemed to have known nothing of Life or its vices and miseries, nothing except the honest toil that man is born to.2

You were to be at Mary's, Jean said. Tell me how they prosper there; or bid Mary herself write. I sent her an old Newspaper one day; which I hope she got.— Tell me also if Harry carries you handsomely about.

Jack has not written to me, tho' there is something like time now. My conjecture is that he may be travelling to Naples, or the Letter may be travelling, and hence the delay. Or it may be, he waits till I send him my fixed address; not caring to trust a Letter with Fraser, as I directed him to do. I wrote a second time some ten days ago; and in answer to that, shall certainly expect to hear. My last notice was a[s] Jane passed thro' Liverpool, when Dr Arbuckle (his friend) had just received a Letter from him, and all was well. This indeed is not so long ago.

But, alas, here is Jane back again; and reproof that my time is quite exhausted! I must run. Be careful of yourself my dear Mother; and may God ever care for you!

Your affectionate Son, /

T. Carlyle.